“[The] Chinese believe that red brings fortune and luck, and the bride is traditionally expected to do exactly that for her husband,” Hung said. “However, in most Chinese weddings, the bride changes 2-3 times. So she might start with a red Chinese dress, then a western dress, then [change] again.”
And the Chinese are willing to spend a lot on elaborate weddings–it’s a billion dollar industry there. “People organize weddings the same way marketing events are organized,” Hung told us. “They splurge on the dress, the decor, the [food and beverages], and even pay to have [a] celebrity attend the wedding.”
While Vera Wang is just now expanding into Asia, Oscar de la Renta has an established presence with stores in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Back in January he attended Dragon Week, an event held in Manhattan meant to introduce wealthy Chinese to American brands and retailers which they may not currently know. And in China it’s all about the branding. Hung told us it wasn’t so much the color of the dress that matters, but the name of the designer. “Vera Wang is well known in China, [so] people will buy her wedding dress as a status symbol in any color.” But it makes sense that western designers looking for Chinese buyers would produce wedding gowns in the traditional color, especially since Chinese brides’ taste is becoming more global and they’re increasingly choosing western styles.
Still, these are New York-based designers who obviously feel red holds appeal for their US and European clientele as well. Would you wear a red wedding dress?