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Black-Owned Bridal Salons and Suit Designers in the Philly Area

These experts will dress you up from head to toe.


wedding dresses

The Dress Matters in Media is on this list of Black-owned Philly-area bridal salons, suitmakers and more for wedding dresses, tuxes and other stylish looks. Photo by Jaime Muth of Pearl Photo & Video

As you begin planning for your Big Day, you’re faced with making choices that matter to you and your partner about your wedding. You make intentional, conscious decisions on every detail, including what vendors you want to support. This list of Black-owned bridal salons, custom suit designers and more fashion-forward spots will ensure that you step out in style — whether you’re dreaming of a stunning wedding dress, a trim tux, or even some sleek shoes. This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the experts, but it is one we’ll add to and grow. We’ve also created a list of Black-owned Philly-area beauty professionals, wedding planners, florists and decor pros, and a lineup of photographers and videographers; we’ll expand to feature professionals in food, entertainment, jewelry, paper goods, wellness and fitness and more. (Please email suggestions to [email protected].)

Blue Sole Shoes
Center City

Steve Jamison fulfilled his childhood dream when he opened Blue Sole Shoes back in 2007. The men’s footwear store carries both casual and formal styles — from boots to monk-straps to loafers — many of which are exclusive or limited-edition. (Think Jo Ghost, Magnanni and Roberto Cavalli.) You can also find socks, apparel and accessories, such as belts, bracelets, cuff links and leather bags. Jamison notes that the shop receives a considerable amount of business from grooms looking for unique steppers for their Big Day, which he believes helps distinguish his boutique from others. What’s next: an expanded line of formal footwear options in keeping with the latest fashions. 1805 Chestnut Street, Center City.

Damari Savile
Old City

Former Eagles safety and bow-tie enthusiast Malcolm Jenkins may have co-founded Damari Savile with childhood friend Eric White in 2017, but it wasn’t his first foray into the world of sartorial style. Jenkins, who now plays for the New Orleans Saints, first launched an online shop for bow ties and pocket squares back in 2012 — and that materialized into Damari. Today, it’s a one-stop shop for men’s and women’s formalwear. (Check out this wedding featuring Damari’s sleek tuxedos.) The store works with various manufacturers to provide custom-made suits, shirts, pants, short sets, denim, overcoats and accessories, among other products. Their clientele spans the nation, and they see “a ton” of wedding-related business due to their ability to customize nearly everything, says White. This year, Damari Savile plans to expand its options to include ready-to-wear clothing and casualwear. 72 North 2nd Street, Old City.

Expect Lace
Manayunk

After working in the lingerie and intimate-apparel industry for more than 10 years, Shaw Lewis felt like there was a need for a more inclusive bra shop. Her main focus? Style and fit. So in 2018, she opened Expect Lace, a lingerie store that specializes in bras and fittings. The boutique carries various brands, with sizes ranging from 30A to 42J. Lewis and her team offer custom bra fittings and work closely with bridal shops around the city to provide soon-to-be-weds the proper supportive undergarments for their gowns. Expect Lace also sells panties, loungewear, pajamas and swimwear. This year, Lewis plans to add a second floor to the shop, dubbed Expect Lace and More. 4403 Main Street, Manayunk.

The Dress Matters
Media

Founded in 2014, this appointment-only boutique offers clients the full say-yes-to-the-dress experience. Owner Deborah Collins’s goal: to create a welcoming and affordable place for brides, their families and friends to shop for their dream gowns. From bridal and bridesmaids’ attire to flower girl dresses, every style in The Dress Matters is less than $2,000. Custom dresses take between four to six months to be made — if you’re going the bespoke route, visit nine to 12 months before your Big Day to get the design process in gear. The boutique also carries off-the-rack styles in various sizes, rents tuxedos, and sells accessories. Labels include Morilee and Christina Wu, among others. Take note: Collins’s employee Nadine Warder-No will soon open The Dress Matters Couture in Malvern, offering a more high-end selection, with gowns ranging from $2,000 to $4,000. 1024 North Providence Road, Media.

Lillie Couture
Kensington

With Lillie Couture, owner and founder Latasha Hall simply wanted to created beautiful gowns for beautiful women — and she’s been doing exactly that since 2010. The designer offers custom and ready-to-wear looks for brides and their bridal parties as well as exclusive accessories such as capes and veils. Make an appointment, and Hall will walk you through fabric sourcing and muslin mockups; couture looks start at $2,500 and take anywhere from six to eight months to create. Up next: a capsule collection commemorating her late mother. 2930 Jasper Street, Kensington.

Madelange LaRoche Bridal Design Studio
Elkins Park

Haitian designer Madelange LaRoche didn’t let the pandemic get in the way of her dreams. Instead, she made her wish come true by opening her namesake bridal studio this past November. (Read more about the debut here.) LaRoche primarily designs custom-made gowns and wedding-day looks for her clients, though she does carry a ready-to-wear line for those who don’t have a specific style in mind. The studio also offers cleaning and preservation, alterations, tuxedo rentals, and accessories like veils, jewelry and flip-flops (to preserve your feet on the dance floor, perhaps). Walk-ins are available, though appointments are encouraged. 8015 Old York Road, Elkins Park.

Xavi Row Bespoke
Greater Philly Area

Leroy West launched Xavi Row Bespoke in 2018 because he wasn’t a fan of what the custom suiting industry had to offer. He began his journey as a traveling tailor, crafting one-of-a-kind suits, tuxes, shirts, coats and shoes — he visits clients’ homes or offices to conduct private fittings. (Suits are priced from $800 to $1,200.) A majority of his business is wedding-related. (West sported one of his own designs for his engagement this past summer, which you can see here.) A current perk: West is offering wedding clients a free bottle of whiskey or champagne — a gift to make the fitting more enjoyable, he says. And in April, the label will launch its Xavi Row Kit, complete with a box of fabric samples and a stylebook to help remote clients in selecting their styles.

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