Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week (VBFFW), the bridal fashion fair of Fira de Barcelona, is not just the leading event in Spain and an international reference for the sector, it is also a potent business hub. This is also the reason for its emergence as one of the main platforms for publishing studies of social, demographic and financial change that affect the wedding market segment.
It is in this context that VBFFW, led by the professor of IESE José Luis Nueno, doctor in ‘Business Administration’ from Harvard University and an expert on the fashion and retail sectors, has studied this constantly changing industry year after year, taking both its creative and financial aspects into account. In fact, the study “Novias Millennials y Gen Z: el sector de la moda nupcial en 2020”, [Millennial and Gen Z Brides: the wedding fashion sector in 2020], presented in this year’s fair, is an update to the information contained in “Millennial brides: nacer en los 80, casarse hoy” [Millennial Brides: born in the 80s, marrying today] from 2016, both prepared by Nueno at the request of VBBFW, and “La tienda digital” from 2017.
In a market as globalized and digitalized as this one, knowledge is essential if we are to interpret the present and forecast the future of the sector. The study is not limited to financial data, but also looks at the characteristics of young people from Generation Z or Gen Z, those born after 1995 and who will predominate in the bridal market in 2030.
The coming changes
Gen Z are digital natives, freely using computers, smartphones and tablets. Today they represent only 6% of weddings, but their approach to consumption is already altering standards: the social and consumption habits of Gen Zers have progressed beyond the original Millennials, those born in the 80s, with greater demand for access, connections and use of the Internet.
In fact, the priorities of consumers are shifting rapidly: in 1985, 64% of spending went on products, with the other 36% being spent on experiences. The predictions for 2030 are that products will account for 52% and experiences for 48%.
The arrival of the young Gen Z consumers to the market will mean that bridal trends will continue their transformation of the customer journey and purchasing experience, creating a singular process for each bride that will involve digital experiences and personalized creativity.
There will also be a need for constant relations with the client through online strategies, while the application of the latest technologies will be a categorical imperative, with traditional stores “being transformed with videowalls, beacons and smart mirrors to adapt to the new expectations and omnichannel behaviour of the latest generation of consumers”, according to professor José Luïs Nueno.
VBBFW dominates international fashion
Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week takes place from 23 to 28 April in the Montjuïc site with the participation of 35 companies in the fashion show and more than 429 brands in the trade fair, 74% of which are international companies from 34 countries. It will bring together the most important national and international names and designers, both regular participants and new brands that will be appearing for the first time. These will include outstanding names such as the U.S. brand Marchesa, founded by the English designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig and the choice of many celebrities when called on to tread the red carpets of the world; The Atelier, the Malaysian company that has had Jimmy Choo, the master of shoe fashion, as creative director of its bridal collections since 2017; or Zac Posen, the famous U.S. designer and one of the stars of the successful TV show Project Runway who will display in Barcelona his latest creations in bridal fashion, cocktail dresses and evening wear from his ZAC Zac Posen line.