Forget what you thought you knew about little white dresses. This fall Zola launches its first-ever wedding wear collaboration with Brooklyn-based bridal brand Pantora Bridal. With a mission to “provide fashion-forward wedding wear with an inclusive, feel-good experience”, Pantora stands out as a brand that’s defining the future of bridal fashion. And, yeah, the clothes are as stunning as the ethos.
This exclusive collaboration was made to celebrate all the different types of women getting married today who vary in shape and size, race, personal style, and more. With sought after staple styles like jumpsuits, two pieces, and even long-line gowns, there's something for everyone (and every wedding event). But there's nothing common about these pieces.
The collection shows that luxury doesn't need to be served with a pinky up. You can show up to your wedding (or any event!) exactly as you are—and you can do it in a high-slit sequin gown or shimmery shorts with pockets. Everyone deserves to shine.
We sat down with Pantora Bridal Founder & Designer Andrea Pitter to talk all about this unique collection and how it came to be. Read on and then be sure to view and shop the collection right here on Zola.
Andrea: It's been great. I've been having fun. What I really appreciate is your openness to allow me to kind of just do what I do. I felt welcomed. I never felt like I was being asked to dumb down my designs or to break from what Pantora offers. I feel like you have been open and ready to kind of introduce something different, something a little bit more flamboyant and flashy. Something a little bit more celebratory. I'm excited that this was very much a ‘take me as I am’ kind of moment.
Andrea: There's the editing process, so what I often do is start with our bestsellers. I start with what makes women feel good first, look good second. Feeling good is really, really important.
Andrea: We pay attention to women’s bodies and we celebrate them. Some may feel like there's only one body type, one silhouette that gets to be celebrated, and it's just not true.
I feel like myself. I'm of Caribbean descent, my parents are Jamaican. I used to get made fun of because I was so skinny. In the Western world, that's being celebrated, [but] in the Caribbean world it’s like, ‘Girl, where your booty?’
It's just to each its own. And that's the part that's really important. To each its own. And we have to kind of find the beauty in our bodies whether we're happy with it, whether we're changing it, whether it's going to be something else. We're celebrators of body types. We're celebrators of culture.
Andrea: I think we'll be able to reach a customer that we haven't reached before. There are lot of brides who can benefit from not just the clothing but, again, the celebration.
When it comes to bridal there's a hesitant place that shoppers go. ‘I have to buy a dress. It has to be white.’ There's no ‘has to be’ anything. I feel Zola is positioned to open the box when it comes to the wedding industry. You offer so much, you're legitimately a one-stop-shop for many things bridal. And why not add Pantora to that mix, right? Why not add these special dresses? These are actually special. They're special clothing.
Andrea: Fun, fancy, and celebratory.
Andrea: So, it's still fun, but I would say I took a more chill approach. And I feel like I might hop and skip into your question because this is where the relatable part comes from. I like clothing that makes me happy and makes me feel good, clothes I can kick it in. But I also really do want the, ‘Hey girl, you cute,’ when I walk down the street.
It's really important that fashion meets function when I design, and that customers are just overall happy in their clothing and they're not trying to just take it off just because it was an ‘Instagrammable moment’. We can have Instagrammable moments and still feel comfortable. And so that's kind of what the Zola line looks like: It's fun, it's relatable, and it's edgy.
Andrea: My advice is to really go into wedding shopping as if you were shopping for anything else. When you find the actual gown, you should feel like an elevated version of yourself, but you shouldn't have to transform yourself into a different person just because you're getting married. There's no pretending. Be as elevated as you want to be. Be you.
I think that's really cool because when we make online purchases we kind of make them because they feel good, right? I like that things are at an instant and the truth of the matter is that the bride who buys her dress in a traditional boutique is maybe not the same bride who buys her dress online, and we want to be able to appeal to both.
Andrea: Buy one of everything—and buy one for your friends! No, hah, buy what you like, imagine yourself in the clothing, and have fun with it. Don't feel like you're obligated to wear these designs to a bridal event. You can wear them anywhere.
That's the special part of the clothing. It just happens to be variations of white, but this is literally clothing that you can just celebrate in. So buy it for your birthday, buy it for the bridal shower. Buy it and wear it time and time again. It's a lot of fun. So, um, my shopping guide is to shop—all of it!