Happy Tuesday! Here at Champagne and Cake we love to feature unique and talented entrepreneurs. Today we are taking a trip to Toronto, Canada to talk to an amazing designer Bonnie Chung of Je Vis Bridal. She shares with why she was inspired to launch her fashion line.
CC: Your name and little background info about you and your company?
BC: My name is Bonnie Chung and I was born and raised in Vancouver. I was born a little fashionista with an unconditional love for dresses even at a very young age. As a toddler, my parents would attempt to put me in pants, and I would refuse because I told them “I’m a girl, I wear dresses.” That went on for a very long time apparently.
I studied and graduated from the Fashion Business and Creative Arts Diploma Program at John Casablanca Institute in 2006. I launched Je Vis Couture in 2010, where I focused mainly on custom evening and cocktail dresses. In 2014, I decided to travel in a new direction with my journey in the fashion business; I wanted to design a woman’s most important gown, their wedding dress! I started off with a small collection and helped my circle of friends find or design their dream gown. After seeing the success I had, I decided to launch Je Vis Bridal later that year. At the end of 2014, I moved to Toronto and fully committed myself to the bridal industry, designing one-of-a-kind wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and mother of bride gowns as well. After attending a couple of Bridal Shows in Toronto, I found that my designs became quite accepted, so to further my career and passion, I decided to open my first storefront in Toronto.
CC: Your Favorite quote?
BC: “Dance as though no one is watching you, Love as though you have never been hurt before, Sing as though no one can hear you, Live as though heaven is on earth.”
CC: What made you decide to become a designer?
BC: As mentioned, even at a young age, I knew I was a little fashionista and designer because I would always make sketches of dresses. I didn’t originally go to fashion school, I got my diploma in sales and marketing at British Columbia Institute of Technology, and worked in a couple of jobs that was related to my Diploma. But after switching jobs after jobs, I realized that I’ll never be content with a job if I wasn’t doing something that I love, so I quit a stable job I had at a real estate firm and pursued my dream in the fashion industry.
CC: Who is your favorite designer?
BC: Hands down, Oscar de la Renta
CC: What inspires your designs?
BC: So many things, fabric, architecture, other designers, and even just my experience with my past clients. I’ll hear a need that is not currently being fulfilled in the current market, and I’ll try to create a design that will fill that gap, I guess that’s the sales and marketing side of me. Apart from being a designer, I am a business woman as well, so aside from the creative side of me, I try to meet demands and needs of the market. And believe it or not, sometimes I dream of designs, and I’ll wake up and sketch it out!
CC: What is the most interesting dress that you have ever designed?
BC: My most recent collection, which was presented at Vancouver Fashion Week and later featured on Vogue UK, consisted of 6 interchangeable dresses – six tops and six bottoms. You can mix and match to create 42 different looks. You can also remove the bottom and simply wear the top as a short cocktail dress, great for the “dancing” part o a wedding. For the more fancy brides, they can select 2-3 bottoms to create multiple looks throughout the day without breaking the bank!
CC: What are the some of the popular trends in wedding dresses?
BC: As mentioned in the above, removable trains are trending right now! Floral appliques are also hitting the runway. I also see more uses of colors in wedding gowns compared to the traditional white. Vintage has been coming back for quite some time now, or should I say, it never really went out of style. But I do find that it’s the sexiest silhouettes of the vintage styles. All in all, I think what’s trending is the sexier and avant-garde twist to classic silhouettes.
CC: What are some popular color trends with wedding dresses?
BC: Ivory is your most basic, but I see colors like peachy-pinks and even reds!
CC: What has been some of your toughest challenges as a designer? And How did you overcome them?
BC: Being in the fashion industry, in general, requires a lot of patience, You can put in a lot of time and work and even financial investment but not see any return right away, or even for a long period. Competition is also very strong. I believe that one of the reasons that so many designers end up moving away from their passion is because of a long time it takes to see a return. It is very tough. You feel like you keep investing time and money, with very little to no return, aside from the satisfaction as a designer. I overcame this challenge by being patient, and I worked a couple of jobs at a time to make things work. If you love something, you need to devote your all and everything to make it work; otherwise, it’s just going to be a waste of time and energy. -Bonnie Chung Je Vis Bridal founder Click To Tweet
CC: What tips would you give to a person who wants to become a designer?
BC: Be patient. Also, don’t forget who you are and what you love. At the end of the day, being a designer is still a business, and after a while, we may get caught up with “what people want and like” and we start to cater all our designs to other the market’s preference, but we want to make sure that we stay true to what we love and what inspires you. I know it sounds contradicting when I say this because I mentioned earlier that as a business woman, I do look at the needs of the market, but at the same time, I don’t let that drive all my designs.
CC: What sets your dressed apart from others?
BC: I am not a very traditional girl, so I like to use classic silhouettes but create fun and daring details. I love feeling powerful and sexy, and that is the feeling I want my beautiful brides to feel when they are wearing my designs. So I try to bring that extra “oomph” in every design.
CC: Any final tips that you would like to share with brides about designing their dream wedding dress??
BC: Work with a designer who can understand your vision and idea easily and someone who can work within your budget! Don’t break the bank for your dream dress. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. Work with a designer is who passionate about what they do!!
Check out her amazing work below:
Thanks so much to Bonnie Chung with Je Vis Bridal for taking the time to share her amazing story with Champagne and Cake. Follow Je Vis Bridal on Instagram.