Lace & Liberty is the Warby Parker of wedding attire. They offer at-home try-ons and then custom make your desired pieces to your exact measurements. This means that their bridal wear fits every body type flawlessly.
Their wedding separates allow you to layer a flowing tulle skirt on top of one of their little white dresses and provide you an outfit that is formal for the ceremony but can easily transition to a short dress for dancing at the reception. All of this and at a reasonable price.
All of the pieces are designed by Danielle and co-owner, Jacqueline Shi. While Danielle and their studio are located in San Francisco, Jacqueline is in Shanghai where she oversees the production of all of their pieces to ensure the highest quality.
Their studio is as warm and welcoming as Danielle. After being served delicious tea and snuggling with her adorable dog, Buddy, any anxiety about trying on bridal wear will immediately melt away.
We asked Danielle and Jacqui to share a little more about their business, and here's what they had to say.
Below Photos by Two Spoons Photography
You can invite your friends over to your house and have some champagne—you don’t have to deal with the stress of going to a bridal boutique.
1. What is the mission of your company?
Our ultimate goal is to solve most of the issues facing brides looking for their wedding dress, and we have found that most of the issues are related to either style, quality, or price.
Apart from the lucky few, for most brides, the entire wedding planning process can sometimes be a cumulation of trade-offs and compromises, whether that's due to budget constraints, traditions, or opinions of your family/future in-laws.
Although we can’t help with the other stuff, when it comes to wedding dresses we didn’t want brides to have to make another trade off. We want her to stop having the issue of loving the top of one dress and the skirt of another dress. We want her to stop being torn between her desire to wear a more modern, fun, streamlined wedding dress per the inspiration pictures on her Pinterest boards and her mom’s desire to see her in something more “bridal” with more tulle. We want her to stop having to choose between how much she should spend on that dress that makes her feel great, versus that something special for the honeymoon.
By offering wedding dresses as separate pieces our brides can mix and match between different top and different skirt silhouettes until they find the style that suits them the best. They can also stop choosing between being the “modern bride” and the “traditional bride” by simply slipping on one of our skirts over her more modern dress so that she can still look the part of a traditional bride during the ceremony and keep mom happy. We’ve put in a lot of time in sourcing the best feeling fabrics so a bride can feel as comfortable as possible on her day, and as we make each piece to a bride’s personal measurements, it does take away a lot of hefty tailoring costs at the end—which is especially helpful for the tall or petite brides!
As we sell online, we’ve kept our overhead low so we can offer our pieces at reasonable prices, and for those ladies who want to try our stuff, we can send you a box of our samples through our “Try On At Home” program where you can try on in the privacy and comfort of your own home! And finally—don’t worry about not having that 6 months to wait for your dress—our standard delivery time is 8-10 weeks, and often we can accommodate much faster turn-arounds.
2. What is your company's origin story?
Danielle’s wedding was what started it all, as she was the first of us to get married. After half a dozen bridal boutique appointments, she found many dresses she liked, but ZERO she loved—and it was often that case that she loved the top of one dress and the skirt of another. She was living in Asia at the time and therefore had the luxury of going to a tailor and getting her dress custom made.
That was a good solution for Danielle; however, for our friends living in the US this really wasn’t an option! Jacqui has been a bridesmaid 7 times and has been on more than her fair share of wedding dress searches. Time and time again, she saw firsthand the common issues that were coming up for brides looking for their dress.
So finally we decided to do something about it!
3. What is one of your favorite projects you've ever worked on?
So far the entire journey of building Lace & Liberty has been really fun! We love coming up with new designs, working with customers and really hearing what it is they want. In one way or another, every major part of our business has been driven by a need we saw or heard from our friends who had been brides or our customers.
4. How are you a "wedding space disrupter"?
I think we are one of the few wedding dress companies out there who really provide maximum flexibility to our brides without being a fully custom dress designer. By offering bridal separates, we really take the nitty gritty out of designing, construction and fabric selection, but leave the brides with the fun part of creating their own dress through mixing and matching—whether with our own pieces or with other pieces they may find.
Also, e-commerce has really changed the way we shop for so many other aspects of our lives, but bridal has largely stayed the same. We want to bring our brides the benefits of e-commerce (convenience, great prices) with just as great customer service and experience as they would in a traditional store.
You’re like the f*cking Houdini of wedding wear.
—Brandon, Slingin' Pretty
5. What three ingredients are necessary for a great day at your company?
Finding solutions for our customers and hearing their feedback has got to be the best part of our job! That plus working on new designs and getting a lot of doggy kisses from Danielle’s dog, Buddy.
6. What kind of couple makes an ideal client for your company?
We are the best fit for brides who have usually done the bridal store rounds and didn’t find exactly what they wanted, or for those who feel limited by the selection at their local boutiques. We generally advise brides as a first step to find out what silhouette they are going for—and everything else will go from there. We work well with brides of all shapes and sizes, as well as brides who need their dresses faster than the usual 3-6 month turn around time that is traditionally given. And a quick message from Jacqui, who just got married last year—for brides who are also looking for two looks on their wedding day—bridal separates are the way to go!!
Danielle Wen and Jacqueline Shi started Lace & Liberty after falling in love with separates for their own weddings. All pieces are designed by the duo, and they directly oversee the manufacturing of their beautiful pieces.