Wedding dresses are usually chosen approximately nine months in advance of the event. The designs reflect much more than an idea, the sewing, the material… they are often the realization of a dream.

Out of all the brides who enter the websites of the dressmakers looking for the gown that they will say “I do” in, 75% of them will register, 50% will visit the store, 35% will try on a dress and only 13% will buy one, according to the study “The shop of the future for the new Millennials”, prepared by José Luis Nueno, professor at the IESE Business School, and ordered by Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, the main event for bridal fashion held by Fira de Barcelona between 23 and 29 April.

There are some patterns of consumption that are ripe for imminent change. According to the study, the digitalization of the bridal sector will mean that 30% of sales will be made online in 10 years’ time, driven by the Millennial brides who use their smartphones to consume fashion. This means that the sales facilities will have to adapt to this new generation of shoppers, offering them a new bridal experience.

In the study, Professor Nueno describes the future bridal outlet as having:

  •  A showroom that offers far more than dresses.
  • An online channel that allows you to pre-select your dress, rather than just offering you information.
  •  A physical store that uses technology to offer experiences:
  • Devices at the entrance can recognize the bride-to-be and make an analysis of her face and gestures, getting to know her preferences.
  • Smart changing rooms that make it easier to select sizes, colours… and make it possible to take photos, record 360º videos and even change the lighting.
  • Storage racks, rails and smart mirrors that can remember the customer’s preferences that are stored in her smartphone.
  • – Stores will also have a network of Click & Collect centres to make it easier to pick up the order.

The designer Reem Acra at Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week

Born in the Lebanon and based in New York, Reem Acra is one of the most outstanding designers in the world of bridal fashion and party wear. She has created looks for celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Halle Berry and Jennifer López, and now, for the first time, Acra is presenting her Spring Collection 2019 in Europe on Barcelona Bridal Night.

Her creations, with their delicate lines and perfect embroidery, are sold in the most exclusive stores in the world, such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States, and in more than 20 countries.

Besides receiving many accolades as a designer and businesswoman, Acra has been named the 7th most influential Arab Woman by Forbes Magazine.

G. DILLUVIO / M. GARCÍA