Posted on September 17 2020
As a brand that works with brides, we understand that for any bride in 2020 it's been a tough year. But brides are changing up the way things are done and using this time as an opportunity to have intimate weddings and gatherings or a new term that's being thrown around a micro wedding. We had a conversation with Fiona Liu, Founder of à toi studio. Fiona creates more modern bridal pieces that are outside of the typical normal white gown. We personally love the diversity of her collection and the fact that you can re-wear an outfit, which sounds just like our pumps. An outfit shouldn't have to be reserved for just one day.
Find out more about the à toi studio collection and Fiona's outlook on the wedding and bridal industry.
ALLY: Tell us about yourself and à toi? Why did you decide to enter into the bridal market?
Fiona: I’m Fiona the founder and CEO of à toi studio, a modern bridal brand based in New York. When I got engaged in 2018, I struggled to find something that was modern, versatile and not too traditionally bridal. I did not want a dress to be only worn once – I wanted to live my wedding night memories through re-wearing my outfit over and over again for special occasions. Call me greedy but there are so many beautiful memories embedded in a wedding dress that it should not be reserved for just a few hours of a woman’s life. Therefore, I endeavoured to design a sustainable outfit that can be re-worn for a lifetime.
I embraced this challenge on myself first by designing a sleek and sassy jumpsuit with fitted pants, and a removable embroidered lace train, which is perfect for walking down the aisle but could also be removed for many evenings beyond the wedding. That was the beginning of what would become à toi studio today.
We are focused on creating timeless and effortless pieces with high quality craftsmanship and fabrication. Every piece is designed to be reworn for special occasions and locally made in New York City.
ALLY: With the current market and changes to weddings, what changes have you seen at à toi and what pivots have you made?
Fiona: Planning a perfect wedding is hard, but it’s become increasingly harder during the pandemic - there are countless moving parts surrounding COVID-19. We feel the pain that couples have had to face the heartbreaking reality of postponing their weddings. At the same time, we also see that more and more couples are being more creative to celebrate their original wedding date by having an intimate city hall ceremony or a more boutique gathering in an alfresco environment.
At à toi studio, we love the idea of an intimate celebration and believe a wedding can be as small as you and your partner, gazing deeply into each other’s eyes and promising a lifetime of love. That is truly what marriage is all about so don’t let this opportunity go by and regain control of a year that has witnessed so many tragic events and make some happier memories! Our specialty is creating versatile and re-wearable bridal pieces so brides can mark the start of a new lifetime of memories. We hope you will like our modern blazer and slip dress combo, fashion-forward jumpsuit in streamlined silhouettes or our chic, clean-lined silk gowns as much as we do. Additionally, everything is designed and produced in New York City and turnaround time for made-to-measure pieces is two weeks!
ALLY: What’s your favorite piece from the collection?
Fiona: I have different styles for various occasions in my collection, so it’s definitely hard to choose a favorite because they all represent my brand. I love the Ambar silk slip dress - it is made of 100% silk crepe back satin, which reflects a lively brilliance. The dress is perfect for a city hall ceremony or an intimate backyard celebration, and can be easily styled with our Fionn Chantilly lace cape, or Carrie sleek bridal blazer for totally different looks.
ALLY: Who is your Ally?
Fiona: I’ve benefited a lot from having a group of female entrepreneur friends in New York, from various industries like fashion, wellness, tech, etc. They are my sounding board for product ideas, business strategy and reassuring hugs; they can be my biggest cheerleaders and tell every engaged friend, whether in person and online, “You should talk to Fiona”; they keep me up-to-date on insights I might have missed and help me maintain my sanity when it feels like no one else understands what's going on. We also promote one another through collaboration on projects. Those relationships that we built one brunch at a time is precious!