Left: CEO Leslie Voorhees at an Anomalie workshop last year. Right: A daily sight in our Suzhou workshop.
Coronavirus is impacting nearly every area of life, and this is certainly true for the bridal industry. The Anomalie team in the United States and Asia is safe, and our thoughts are with the countless people who are being impacted by this challenge.
I want to write a message that specifically focuses on the impact of the coronavirus on wedding dresses: how this situation impacts current Anomalie brides, and information for brides in general. I also wanted to write transparently about why Anomalie, and virtually all major U.S. high-end bridal companies, manufacture in China.
Why Anomalie’s model is different:
Our model gives us unique abilities to control our timeline and offer certainty, and we are able to guarantee delivery to current and future brides.
Most wedding dresses are sold at boutiques, which carry many designers. This means there is a “middle-man” (the wedding dress brand) between the store and the factory. We are seeing cases where brands are behind on production, which is causing uncertainty and delay for brides. Our production model, where we are vertically-integrated with the best wedding dress workshops, is paying off.
Vertical integration is the key difference here, since we have much more insight and control over our production. We have developed proprietary technology to manage timelines and dress details precisely.
To current customers:
We are on track to hit delivery dates, and will never deliver your dress without at least a month of lead-time before your wedding. As always, our stylist team is available after delivery to make sure you feel amazing walking down the aisle.
I know this is a very stressful time for many areas of wedding planning. In the midst of this adversity, it is our mission for Anomalie to be one of the best decisions of your wedding. In many ways, it is business as usual for us: you have my personal guarantee we will always work to over-communicate with you and handle every situation (especially challenges) with empathy and proactiveness.
To all brides:
We are here as a resource to you. We are guaranteeing that we will deliver your dress at least a month before your wedding – we will refund 1.5x your order if this doesn’t happen.
More than any policy or guarantee, our team is guided by common-sense principles to be transparent, smart and empathetic during any interaction, as we have since day one of Anomalie.
Anomalie is the only company where you can start envisioning your dress online and receive expertise from a remote stylist team to bring your vision to life. Our stylist team is guided by helping you find the perfect dress, and adding certainty to your wedding dress search.
Background on Why Anomalie dresses (and nearly every U.S. wedding dress) is made in China:
The virus has caused concern in the wedding dress market because 90% of U.S. wedding gowns are made in China and 90% of worldwide silk exports come from China. High-end boutique brands such Monique Lhuillier, Vera Wang and Pronovias are largely produced in China. It would take a generation for another location to replicate the wedding dress knowledge, skills, and infrastructure that exists in China.
We set out to change the wedding dress experience and manufacturing process for the better, and the only way to do this is relying on the expertise in China.
Many brands cover up their Chinese supply chain, but we have always tried to be transparent about where our dresses are made and celebrate our team in China. Suzhou, where 80% of the world’s dresses are made in a 4-square mile area, is a wedding wonderland with the best artisans in the world.
I spent most of 2017 (the first year of Anomalie) living in Suzhou vetting hundreds of workshops to choose the best partners. The workshops we chose are run by incredible entrepreneurs who have scaled with us to this day and become part of our family.
We are in hour-by-hour communication with our workshops and have built technology to monitor timelines and dress details for every gown. Wedding dresses for current Anomalie employees are being made using the exact same processes we use for every bride.
For every bride, we are here for you and we hope that we can be a resource to add transparency, certainty, and joy to your wedding planning during these uncertain times.
Leslie Voorhees Means
Anomalie CEO + Co-founder