This international brand is well known and loved in the industry, but what is the history of Morilee in the UK and what can we expect from the team in the months to come
Visitors to London Bridal Fashion Week will no doubt have seen the glorious new collections from Morilee, either on the catwalk or on the label’s busy stand. Bridal Buyer was lucky enough to see some of the new dresses up close – as well as having the opportunity to find out a little more about the brand.
Morilee’s Graham Connell tells us a little about the Morilee portfolio, which is made up of five distinct collections. “Our Morilee main collection showcases the latest most modern trends; then we have our Blu collection which uses lighter, less decorative fabrics at a slightly lower price point for the more budget-conscious bride,” he says.
“Our Voyage collection hosts our destination wedding range, designed to fit into a suitcase and made with lighter fabrics which won’t crease. Our plus size collection ‘Julietta’ is increasingly popular and is designed specifically for larger sized brides to enhance the fuller figure and hug curves (they are not just our main gowns made in bigger sizes).
Lastly, we have our AF Couture collection, which is our more luxurious range. We also have a range of matching accessories including veils, headpieces, capes, hair clips and overskirts.”
Morilee has a huge offering, which is one of the reasons the label is known for catering to the needs and requirements of a diverse selection of brides. What’s more – the label’s collections are easily accessible: “We have over 250 Morilee UK retailers and more than 3,000 globally,” says Graham.
London Bridal Fashion Week and the Harrogate Bridal Show are two huge events on the Morilee calendar – the brand launches its bridal collections twice a year in spring and autumn at the shows. They work as the ideal platform for Morilee to meet with its stockists.
Graham says: “We work with over 250 independent boutiques across the UK as well a couple of independent department stores. We know our stores work really hard and they love what they do; making our bride’s dreams come true.”
Working harmoniously with over 250 clients in the UK is no mean feat, but one that the company works hard to ensure is a top priority. So, how does the customer service offering work? Each client has its own dedicated account manager, who is the first port of call for orders and enquiries. “The familiarity helps to build the relationship and the account manager will make visits to the store and be at all of the trade shows,” explains Graham.
“We keep in touch frequently to gain insight into the store’s current trends and successes and try to help them with whatever they need from us. Our dedicated customer support team are highly thought of by our stockists and we receive many compliments and awards for our service.”
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In addition to this, the brand helps the stockists to promote and sell gowns by supplying useful PR material – such as photography, that the boutiques can use on their websites, social media channels and in any printed materials that they produce. Graham adds: “We regularly send them newsletters and point of sale materials such as stickers, brochures, leaflets, posters and giveaways such as lip balms, hangers, dress bags, pens to promote brand awareness in-store. We supply extra fabric, beadings and appliques on request for a small charge to help them to support brides’ requests.”
What’s more, stockists can also borrow samples, so for example – if a bride requests a specific gown to try on that they do not currently stock they can call it in, and they can also host designer events/trunk shows where they can borrow 20 samples for a week per season.
To assist with this, Morilee will list any events the stores are having on its website and Facebook page to help them fill their appointment schedules. “We are also just about to launch our portal so stores can check their accounts, stock levels and order online 24/7, which we hope will make their lives even easier,” says Graham.
The Morilee fashion show at LBFW was packed out – and was certainly a huge hit with the Bridal Buyer team. The dresses on display were diverse, with a mix of showstoppers, elegant gowns, ultra-chic styles and some more traditional silhouettes. But how are the catwalk styles selected for the label’s displays? Graham explains that the designer Madeline picks the catwalk gowns in New York.
“She likes to see the dresses all lined up in front of her and she tries to pick a selection of different silhouettes which will showcase the variety in the collection and anything which will look great under the dazzling spotlights. She likes to pick showstopping gowns to start and end the show. She uses her trusted DJ to mix the music and at London opted for some classics with a dance twist such as Lady Gaga’s recent track from the movie ‘A star is born’.”
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At LBFW, the most popular gown from the show was Rosalie - a strapless tulle and sequined new ball gown with a long, sheer, scalloped hemline. It has a peekaboo cut-out on the bodice and is available lined or unlined.
Another popular gown was Raya a stretch satin sheath gown again with a sheer bodice which can be lined, or unlined featuring pearl and crystal beaded embroidery. “Our current popular trends are customisable gowns, for brides who want something unique and different to everyone else, or they simply want to put their own twist on the gown.
Our brides love that our gowns come with options such as lined and unlined bodices so they can choose to show a bit of skin through our sheer bodices if they wish and options to change looks from daytime to evening with overskirts, jackets, belts and detachable straps.
Historically it has been classic satin A-line and princess net ballgowns that have proved popular for us. Brides have also loved our gowns with pockets!” And what should we be looking out for in the future? Graham expresses that brides in the UK are drawn to sexier, figure-hugging designs as well as lower backs and simpler gowns.
For your chance to meet Morilee and take a look at some of its latest designs, don’t miss the team at The Harrogate Bridal Show 2019. Bridal Buyer tried to find out some insider secrets on what the label would be showing there…but it is being kept tightly under wraps for now!
Discussing Harrogate, Graham says: “Harrogate works well as a location because it is a beautiful English town which everyone loves to visit. Great hotels and restaurants help to make it a stress-free destination for the bridal stores so they can concentrate on the important business of looking at the latest designs and enjoying the experience.
We have been exhibiting in the same hall at Harrogate for many years and our customers know where to find us, which always helps. They know we will be busy so like to come to us first, sit down with their account manager with a glass of prosecco and see the new collection up-close on our models.
The Harrogate Bridal Show will be taking place during 8th – 10th September. Make sure you register for the event here so you don’t miss out.