Everything is falling into place with the “Wedding in Paris” photo shoot with Candice Coppola from Jubilee Events and Robert & Kathleen Photographers later this week. When they first approached me about pulling together some of the hottest wedding vendors in Paris for this project, I knew that I needed to pay a call on luxury wedding shoe designers, Vouelle. Created by Bay Area native Melissa Regan de Vogele and Michelle Boor in 2008, Vouelle has quickly become one of the top stops on the Parisian bride’s “must have” list. I met up with Melissa in her cozy, typiquement Parisian showroom-slash-boudoir to speak with her about the Vouelle bridal collection…
parisian events: You were living in Paris when you got engaged, which is pretty much every American girls dream as far as shopping for her wedding outfit goes. But your experience actually led you to create your company, didn’t it?
melissa de vogele: Yes, I was living in Paris but am from the Bay Area and was organizing my wedding there. I had found my dress here in Paris, but was having trouble finding shoes. I ended up buying a pair that was esthetically beautiful, but incredibly uncomfortable. They cost a fortune, but by the end of the night, I couldn’t walk anymore! That experience led me to approach designer Michelle Boor, who was a really good friend of mine, about launching a collection of bridal shoes here. And it grew from there!
pp: Who is the Vouelle bridal client?
mdv: We tend to see two types of French bride: We see the very classic, seiziéme bride. She will typically go for a traditional escarpin, something very time-honored, very prim and proper. Our other French bride is very fashionable and tapped into the Paris scene. She’s read about us and wants a shoe that none of her group has seen before. Something very different. The brides that contact us from the US really want something that’s European, they want the sophistication and to have something that can’t be found everywhere else. Our shoes make the American bride feel really special. Here in the showroom, besides local clients, we receive a lot of UK brides, a lot of Swiss… We also get a lot of referrals from local dress designers- we work quite closely with Max Chaoul, for instance, Ana Quasoar, Suzanne Ehrmann, and collaborate off and on with other Parisian-based designers.
pp: What can a bride expect on a visit to Vouelle?
mdv: We receive clients here in our showroom by rendez-vous. We encourage them to come with a swatch or a photo of their dress, and then we take it from there. We have what we call our “show stoppers “ like the Dana, which is usually what brings a bride in to us, but one of our best sellers is actually a basic escarpin on a medium height heel- it’s a sophisticated, stylish design which gives you comfort. We’re able to do customization as well, so starting with the basic escarpin, we can build from there. We can add dentelle from the brides dress, for instance, we can add on Swarovski crystals or other treatments that directly match her dress.
pp: Tell me a bit about the 2010 Vouelle bridal collection
mdv: We’ve introduced 6 new designs for 2010. We’re actually focusing our bridal collection a bit- at one point we were up to 16 styles, which was a bit much. Now we’re concentrating more on our bestsellers and the goal is to have about 10 styles that are really what our brides want. This year we’ve introduced new heal heights. In our 2010 collection we’ve used platforms for the first time. We also love these little Satin thongs with handmade organza fans. We have a lot of brides who are married in St Tropez and they want something that’s a bit more suitable. So, those are some of the trends for what we’re doing in 2010. We’re keeping the classic base, but adding some more styles that are a bit less traditional.
One trend that we’re seeing overall is that brides are breaking away from tradition. In the past there were set rules- “Never show your toes”, etc. Now today’s bride asks if she HAS to wear a certain shoe, when what she WANTS is much more forward, more modern. Our Gina, for instance, with the transparent plastic panels, has done really well. It’s an haute couture shoe that is very un-traditional. So, I think that the trend is that there are no more rules. Today’s brides are breaking the mold.
pp: How can fashionable brides outside of Europe shop Vouelle?
mdv: Well, we’re about to launch our e-commerce site this year, which is very exciting. It will be completely integrated into our website, which means brides will be able to shop Vouelle from around the world. Until then, she can see our collections on the site, contact our English-speaking staff, and have her shoes mailed anywhere in the world from here.
You’ll have the chance to see more from Vouelle later this week, when I post some of the “behind-the scenes” action from our “Wedding in Paris” photo shoot. Stay tuned…
167 Boulevard Haussemann
+33 (0)9 54 89 07 21