THE BRIDAL COUNCIL INTERVIEWS Justina McCaffrey

“My dresses are robust and romantic in feeling but modern and minimalist in the architecture and engineering.”


1) WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS?

OH MY... I HAVE HAD AN INTERESTING JOURNEY THE LAST FEW YEARS. I DECIDED TO RUN FOR POLITICS. SPECIFICALLY TO BECOME THE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT OF MY CONSTITUENCY. I RAN A FIERCE CAMPAIGN WITH THE MOST VOLUNTEERS AND DOORS KNOCKED ON WITHIN CANADA. I ADVOCATED A “MADE IN CANADA” PLATFORM, WHICH I AM ACUTELY AWARE OF DUE TO THE EFFORTS OF BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL FACTORY IN GATINEAU, QUEBEC.


2) WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO RELAUNCH THE COLLECTION?

AFTER THE ELECTION, I HAD A NUMBER OF OPPORTUNITIES, PARTICULARLY IN THE FINANCE INDUSTRY. I ALSO HAD A UNIQUE CALL FROM A WELL-KNOWN INDUSTRY VETERAN WHO ASKED ME TO PARTICIPATE IN PARIS FASHION WEEK. I HAD SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN PARIS WITH THE ROLL OUT OF MY LINGERIE COLLECTION YEARS AGO, BUT I HAD NEVER SHOWN MY WEDDING DRESSES IN PARIS. SO I INTERPRETED THAT AS A BUCKET LIST ITEM AND SOMETHING I NEEDED TO ACCOMPLISH. I THEN CONCLUDED THAT IF I AM GOING TO SHOW IN PARIS, I WOULD “NATURALLY” NEED TO CREATE AND SELL A PROPER COLLECTION. IF I WERE GOING TO DO THAT, I WOULD DO IT ON MY TERMS, AND RUN A BUSINESS THAT MAKES SENSE, AND WHILE THIS IS VERY ATTRACTIVE TO THE RETAILERS, IT IS DISRUPTIVE TO THE LEGACY BRIDAL BRANDS.


3) TO THOSE WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH JUSTINA MCCAFFREY, DESCRIBE YOUR OVERALL AESTHETIC.

MY DRESSES ARE ROBUST AND ROMANTIC IN FEELING BUT MODERN AND MINIMALIST IN THE ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING. I INFLATE AND PUSH DESIGN CONCEPTS THROUGH MY STRONG DRAFTING, DRAPING, AND DRESSMAKING ABILITIES. MY SEWING PROFESSIONALS ARE INTELLIGENT ARTISANS WHO ARE DEDICATED TO DISCOVER WHICH BOUNDARIES NEED TO BE BROKEN. THE RESULT OF THIS IS A DRESS THAT IS LUXURIOUS AND EUPHORIC TO WEAR.


4) WHAT WILL YOU BE OFFERING IN THE NEW COLLECTION; WILL IT BE DIFFERENT FROM BEFORE?

I HAVE STRUCTURED MY BUSINESS TO INCORPORATE THE NEEDS OF ALL OF THE PREVIOUS RETAILERS THAT I WORKED WITH BEFORE, BUT I HAVE CREATED INCENTIVES AND PROTOCOLS TO REACH OTHER ASPIRATIONAL OR REASONABLE PRICE POINTS...THUS EXTENDING TO RETAILERS WHOM I HAVE NOT WORKED WITH YET.


5) WHAT APPROACH ARE YOUR TAKING FOR SALES IN PLACE OF THE TRUNK SHOW?

I HAVE A TEAM OF MOTIVATED SALES REPS THAT SPAN THE GLOBE. WE ARE CONSISTENTLY REACHING OUT TO RETAILERS AND WORKING WITH THEIR MANAGEMENT AND GRASSROOT STAFF IN A CLOSER WAY. OUR MANDATE IS TO OFFER A CUSTOM MADE “PLAN OF PROSPERITY” FOR EACH RETAILER THAT SUPPORTS STRONG REORDERS AND ASSOCIATED INCENTIVES. OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET HUNDREDS OF SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS. MY EXCLUSIVE ALLIANCE PROGRAM ADDRESSES THEIR CHALLENGES AND PROVIDES RETAILERS WITH THE CONFIDENCE AND EASE TO SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF REORDERS.


6) WITH YOUR BACKGROUND ALSO IN DANCE WILL YOU BE INCORPORATING THIS THEME?

THE BEAUTY OF BALLET IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE BRAND DIRECTION, IN THAT, I FEEL COMPELLED TO SUPPORT THE WORK AND DEDICATION OF THE PROFESSIONAL CLASSICAL DANCERS THUS HIRING THEM AS MODELS IN RUNWAY PRESENTATIONS, AND CAMPAIGNS. IN ADDITION, THE IMPORTANCE OF DANCE - CREATIVELY – HAS AN ENORMOUS IMPACT ON MY EYE AS A DESIGNER. THE MOST SUCCESSFUL COLLECTIONS I HAVE CREATED WERE WHEN I SPENT 4 HOURS EACH DAY IN THE STUDIO WITH MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA. THE BEAUTY IS PROFOUND AND EXTENSIVE, AND MY JUDGEMENT AND TASTE LEVEL BECAME MUCH MORE REFINED AND DISCERNING. THIS, I BELIEVE IS THE EQUITY OF A TRUE DESIGN HOUSE RATHER THAN AN IMPORTING BUSINESS POSING AS A DESIGN COMPANY. I AM VERY SELECTIVE OF THE ASSOCIATED CREATIVE TEAM THAT ALSO NEEDS TO SHARE THIS CULTIVATED VISION.


7) WHAT IS YOUR STAND ON SUSTAINABILITY FOR THE BRAND?

SUSTAINABILITY IS THE WAY OF THE FUTURE. BRIDES ARE BECOMING CLEVER AND CHOOSING TO INVEST CAREFULLY IN SUSTAINABLE BRANDS. MY SUSTAINABILITY INCLUDES A) MAKING MY DRESSES IN CANADA, KEEPING OUR CITIZENS EMPLOYED, NOT RELYING ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE WARS THAT DICTATE SUPPLY CHAIN BREAKDOWNS. B) MINIMIZING CARBON FOOTPRINT DUE TO THE MINIMAL TRAVEL OF EACH DRESS AND ITS MATERIALS. C) UTILIZING SCRAPS OF UNUSED MATERIALS TO BE MADE INTO MASKS AND OTHER PRODUCTS.


8) WHAT WILL YOU BE SHOWING AT THE UPCOMING PARIS FASHION WEEK?

I WILL BE SHOWING A BLENDED VERSION OF THE OFFERING PRICE POINTS WHICH WILL RESULT IN A MOSAIC OF SHAPES AND IDEAS PROCLAIMING MY BRAND AND THEME.

9) WHEN ARE YOU DEBUTING THE NEW COLLECTION IN THE US?

I AM CURRENTLY SELLING IN THE US. I DIRECTED MY SALES TEAM TO REACH OUT TO SOME OF MY FAVORITE US RETAILERS AND TO PREVIEW THE COLLECTION WITH THEM. THE RESULTS HAVE BEEN POSITIVE AND WE ARE ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO STRONG SALES WITHIN EACH REGION.


10) WHAT ARE THE PRICE POINTS?

MY DRESSES RETAIL BETWEEN $2500 - $7000 US DOLLARS. FOR MORE INFORMATION VIEW HER WEBSITE WWW.JUSTINAMCCAFFREY.COM

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