Weddings and proposals are at their peak during this pandemic as more and more couples are now being extra mindful of cost. Brides-to-be are encouraged to be more practical in their wedding decisions, which often includes what they’ll end up wearing when they walk down the aisle. With tighter budgets these days, having a gown (that you’ll only wear once!) custom-made may not be the best choice anymore.
Thankfully, there are a lot of physical and online stores around the Philippines that offer tons of stunning ready-to-wear dresses you can either purchase or rent for your big day. These hubs prove that finding your dream gown doesn’t need to be expensive and that sustainability can be beautiful!
In fact, The Bridefolio is one that gives brides-to-be the opportunity to wear designer dresses from renowned local and international couturiers on their special day without needing to shell out way too much!
We at When In Manila got to talk to The Bridefolio about their brand, their partner designers, their view on sustainability in bridal fashion, their clientele, and their breathtaking collection you can rent from for as low as PHP 30K! Get to know more about them in our interview below.
Could you tell us the story behind the creation of The Bridefolio?
Founders JK Kong and Kristine Erni-Santos: “I think a turning point was when I accompanied my friend to this bridal shop, and she couldn’t find what she wanted. It was a long process of hopping from one boutique to another, spending a lot of time and resources finding the “one”. I wished that I could do something about it because I knew of so many friends abroad who were having a ball choosing their wedding gowns since they had so many choices. We wanted to bring even more of these choices to Filipinas, and make that journey of gown selection delightful and accessible.
And so we started a platform where we had a thoughtfully selected collection of local and international designer bridal gowns, available for purchase or rent. We’re driven by our purpose of making sustainability beautiful, especially in the bridal industry.
We work directly with all local designers featured on The Bridefolio, so it really has become more of a partnership where we make their designs available for those who prefer to rent.
We are a team that’s made up of women who have been brides, bridesmaids, wedding guests…we understand brides-to-be from different perspectives and want to help them feel their most beautiful during their wedding day. Apart from marrying the man of their dreams, how they will look like walking down the aisle is the next thing they should feel excited about, and nothing less than that.”
Who are the designers part of The Bridefolio?
Among those featured in The Bridefolio’s first collection are Monique Lhuillier, Vera Wang, Lazaro, Frankie de Leon, Rosa Clara, Julianne Syjuco, Edwin Tan, Joseph Aloysius, and many more.
For the designers and consigners: what made you join The Bridefolio?
Vania Romoff, designer: “I was approached by Jam, and she opened up the idea of bridal rentals. We had an inventory of bridal RTW gowns that we were putting out in an archival sale shortly after. We were more than happy to share some of our pieces, so that brides who prefer rentals can consider our pieces, too.”
Nicole Nocom, consignor: “We decided to join The Bridefolio because of what they are trying to do, there’s a gap in the market and I think The Bridefolio is trying to fill that gap for modern brides looking for more practical ways to dress themselves.”
Joseph Aloysius, designer: “The Bridefolio’s platform has found a way to make luxury bridal wear accessible to a wider audience through their rental and pre-loved feature, but simultaneously introducing proactive decision-making mindsets for brides-to-be.”
Kris Sy, consignor: “Been searching for a way to sell or rent my Reem Acra wedding dress for SO LONG! We finallyyyy have a convenient way to do this in Manila, thanks to [The Bridefolio.] Find a dress or get yours listed. My gown has its own unique story and I’m thrilled to let its story continue with other amazing women thanks to [them].”
Jaq Chua-Chan, consignor: “I was supposed to walk down the aisle in this beautiful Rosa Clara dress. But right when I finished my last round of measurements, the lockdown was announced, and well, to cut the long story short, my dress didn’t make it to my wedding… Some part of me just feels a little sad when I think of what could have been if we weren’t living in a pandemic. Anyway, whenever I get sucked into these moments, I tell myself that there’s no use crying over spilled milk. At the end of the day, everything turned out well and, most importantly, I am happily married to my wonderful husband! As for this dress, it’s too beautiful to just be tucked away in a closet. I am parting with it with a slight heaviness inside but I am at peace knowing that it’s now in the good hands of [The Bridefolio]. I wasn’t able to tell my story with this dress but maybe you can.”
What excites you about sustainability in the bridal industry?
Vania Romoff, designer: “Sustainability is the future of fashion. This is the same for all sectors of the industry, retail, RTW, and even bridal. Sustainability in our industry can mean circular fashion: renting gowns or buying consciously from companies that practice fair labor. It can also mean having a gown made especially for you. Custom gowns mean zero waste – meaning, no inventory or surplus.”
Nicole Nocom, consignor: “Brides are now more open to trying different materials and styles. They don’t go for traditional looks anymore which gives us a wider variation to offer.”
Joseph Aloysius, designer: “The bridal industry is one of the top sectors of the global fashion industry. Its embracing of sustainability initiatives will surely expand the movement of the advocacy. Soon enough, the whole world will have an environmental mentality and eco sensibilities. That is what is most thrilling about sustainable bridal fashion.”
Where is The Bridefolio located?
How do online fittings work?
We do virtual viewings and home fittings for now, for the safety of everyone involved. All home fittings come with a car service and an online appointment with one of our experienced stylists. If a bride wants to purchase or rent one of our gowns, we can do minor alterations to ensure it is a perfect fit.
Could you share with us your price range?
Rentals start at PHP 30,000.00 for our designer bridal gowns.
Do you do rentals all over the Philippines, or just within the metro?
Just within the Metro, for now! We’re hoping to expand to more cities soon.
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