In the age of fast fashion, fleeting trends, and ‘wardrobe hauls’, nothing feels better than knowing where your clothing is made, and that it’s made well — whether it’s your everyday cotton tee or the most important dress you’ll ever wear (👋).
Facts first: the bridal industry alone is worth a staggering $59 billion USD, with each couple spending an average of almost $30K on their wedding. On top of that, the average wedding produces nearly 400 lbs of garbage. (Were you ready for those numbers? We sure weren’t!).
There’s a lot of value in an industry like bridal, and there are often corners cut and sacrifices made in the name of convenience. This isn’t the first time we’ve explored this topic; if you’ve been a brand fan for a while you might remember our recent post about the impact that wedding flowers have on the planet (spoiler alert: it’s not great).
For an industry rooted in love, there’s often no love lost when it comes to ethics and production. One way we can be part of the solution is transparency, so here is an honest look at our design and manufacturing process, as well as some of the friendly faces of our production department — because it’s important to know who made your clothes!
The fun part: design
Design is definitely the fun part: so many possibilities! Not only do we strive to wow our communities with every new collection, we also try to incorporate emerging style trends while making sure that new styles support our biggest priorities: fit, comfort, and style.
Until recently, design concepts came from a pretty small group: our design team, party of two, and Gaby herself. Our most recent two collections have taken a new angle, hinging on collaboration with other boutiques who carry our designs. After all, who knows better what brides want than those who meet with them every day?
While the initial sketches come from us, there are several stages of feedback from fit models and other stockists which allows our designers to make changes and tweak patterns that eventually lead to the final gowns. It's become such a valuable way to understand what brides are looking for!
Step 2: we buckle down
Once the designs are confirmed in late winter, we prepare the collection for manufacturing. There’s a lot involved in this part of the process: size grading, finalizing technique, and training our garment technicians on how to make each dress.
Something that will never change: local manufacturing. We’ve never used offshore production, instead choosing to keep things in the family and maintain our own production team. This not only helps with communication (there’s far less room for error when the sewing folks are across the room!) but allows us to ensure that the person making your wedding dress is being paid fairly for their hard work.
Launch season, baby!
Launch usually doesn’t happen until September, but by the time early summer rolls around, it’s all hands on deck at HQ. Not only are we making bride orders, but we’re busy sewing sample gowns for boutiques who have pre-ordered from the newest collections.
This is also where our marketing team comes in. They’re coordinating photoshoots, copywriting, and planning our social media content, all to be ready for the moment the new designs hit the website.
Meet Your Makers
Our design team is small but mighty! Meet them below, and find out their current fave styles (just don’t tell the other dresses).
Gaby Bayona, Founder + Creative Director
The woman that started it all. Gaby founded Truvelle in her apartment, taking bridal consultations in her living room by day and sewing wedding dresses by night. Today, she’s still our lead designer, but leaves the sewing part to her production team—and has a better sleep schedule!
Patty Nayel, Technical Designer
Patty has been with us since summer 2020, having joined us as a seasoned member of Vancouver’s bridal design scene. Her unparalleled knowledge of technical garment construction has made her a key part of our design process. She also oversees all of our in-house operations, and HQ runs smoothly thanks to her!
“Truvelle’s Lucinda is all about the fit and the fabric,” Patty explains. “The fabric is unique and so luxurious; the way it falls in the skirt, and how light it is to wear is what makes this one of my favourite dresses. And when it fits perfectly, you feel like the best version of you — which is what technical design is all about!”
Evanne Holms, Assistant Designer
Fun fact: back in the day, Evanne was one of our production interns! After studying fashion design in London, England for a few years, she returned to Vancouver as a newly-minted graduate and we snapped her back up—and haven’t looked back since!
"I love the Celine gown, by Truvelle,” she muses. “The gown’s fit is great, and varying lace choices offer the perfect amount of sparkle. Celine gives a nod to the 90s with its silhouette, which aligns with my personal style. This is the dress I would choose to wear if I were to get married soon!”
We’ve always been a brand dedicated to putting women first, even 9 years back when our inaugural brand Truvelle first landed on the bridal scene. It was easy to be green; Gaby was a one-woman show, making dresses one at a time in her living room.
We’ve come a long way from a studio apartment, growing from a small following in Vancouver to stockists around the globe, but our small business vibe hasn’t changed. It’s a sustainable process we’re proud of—one that doesn’t compromise on quality, fit, and accessibility.And in our modest opinion, that’s the best of both worlds. ✄