With five collection labels and counting, designer Justin Alexander has become a major name in the bridal world. The brand has received more than a dozen awards over the last twenty years and is sold by more than 15-hundred authorized retailers worldwide.
The company holds offices in New York, New Jersey, London, Rotterdam and Hong Kong and the family behind the business has been making its mark on the wedding industry for decades. Here’s a look at how the company first started compared to where it is today.
How It All Began
Justin Alexander is currently operating under president and lead designer Justin Warshaw, but his grandparents Shirley and Ted Warshaw led the way into the bridal business in 1946. Their business T&G Bridal, located in Brooklyn, New York, specialized in headpieces and veils.
A few decades later, Justin’s father and uncles joined the business and decided to expand into wedding dresses. His father built the brands Sincerity Bridal and Sweetheart Gowns in Europe and returned to New York in 2001—that’s when the company started operating under the Justin Alexander name. In 2008, Justin joined the business full time and focused on developing distinct brands.
Getting Into the Bridal Industry
From the beginning, the Justin Alexander brand has been known for contemporary designs and mid to high-end bridal gowns and accessories. Each gown is a combination of classic, refined and timeless accents and silhouettes. The brand has five owned labels: Justin Alexander, Justin Alexander Signature, Adore by Justin Alexander, Lillian West and Sincerity Bridal. Each label is unique with their own choice of fabrics, designs, styling and price point.
The Justin Alexander label is vintage-inspired from the 50s and 60s while the Justin Alexander Signature collection is luxurious and dramatic. Sincerity Bridal is made for the classic, fairytale bride and Lillian West is perfect for the whimsical, boho-chic bride.
The latest collection by Justin Alexander is Adore—made for the fashion-forward yet budget-conscious bride. These dresses are more informal and relaxed with a shorter train, perfect for a sophisticated city hall bride.
Today, the company focuses on trendy and innovative designs for each collection. New styles are introduced twice a year, in the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. Their goal is to try and reach every type of bride regardless of style and price point. In 2004 creative director Tony Mentel joined the team and focused on the hidden details behind the beautiful gowns. His goal was to provide brides a sense of security with well-constructed designs like silk linings and extra straps.
Mental keeps a book of things that inspire him and finds inspiration through film, theater, flowers and the latest fashion trends. Before being added to a collection, a dress is drawn, redrawn, sewn, changed, sewn again and receives feedback over the course of six months. Most of the dresses, about 80-percent of them, are ivory, not white. The brand also uses alternative colors like gold, platinum and hints of black into the construction.
One thing you’ll notice about the Justin Alexander brand is that the company does not sell dresses online. The company proudly supports brick and mortar retailers and are available worldwide. The gowns are made and distributed from China and Myanmar—a quality control team visits at every shipment to ensure compliance rules are being met and ownership visits their partners twice a year.
In 2016, Justin Alexander partnered with luxury fashion powerhouse Viktor&Rolf to launch the company’s first bridalwear collection. The collection, titled Viktor&Rolf Mariage, focuses on three key ideas: unexpected elegance, provocative couture and conceptual glamour.
The fashion artists behind the brand say they’ve always been fascinated by wedding dresses and love how each dress tells a story. Warshaw says the biggest take away he learned while working with them was their conceptual design techniques. He says the designers are innovative and push the boundaries of bridal with new silhouettes and embellishments. We’ll take a look at the brand’s 2021 bridal collection further down the page.
Justin Alexander is known for being size-inclusive with many of their gowns sized 2-32. The gowns are also priced the same, no matter what size—a major advantage for any plus-size bride. In 2018, the company launched the Be You campaign, inspiring women to be confident and happy regardless of shape, size and style.
The brand partnered with influencer and body positivism advocate Iskra Lawrence for the campaign and took photos of Iskra in their Justin Alexander favorite styles. The campaign was a big hit and really showcased the gorgeous plus-size wedding gowns.
For 2021, the biggest bridal trends are bold backs, unexpected details and modern sophistication. All of these trends are apparent in Justin Alexander’s latest bridal collection. The collection features eye-catching details, sultry elements and just a touch of drama. There were so many styles we loved—it was hard to narrow down just a few to show off!
We love the feminine yet dramatic style of all these gowns. The Blaire mermaid gown just exudes sophistication and elegance. Plus, the beaded illusion bodysuit just adds to the glamour. The dreamy English net skirt on the Avery gown is simply divine when you pair it with the fully beaded bodice and keyhole back. But our favorite gown is the Bali—an A-line silhouette with sequin lace applique and glitter tulle. It’s elegant and princess-inspired all in one.
Earlier we mentioned the partnership between Justin Alexander and Viktor&Rolf and their latest fall/winter collection is simply amazing. Each dress is totally unique plus that royal jewel jumpsuit is awesome. Our favorite ensemble is probably the high-low flower gown with the strapless bodice in soft Mikado. The layers of organza just add to the voluminous skirt. But we’re also in love with the long-sleeved lace gown (hello tiered tulle) and the bow taffeta gown with the stunning train. We can’t get enough of these show-stopping looks!
Look at this sweet Southern wedding! Country singer Rachel Wammack wore a custom Justin Alexander Signature gown for her Alabama nuptials. Wammack worked directly with product director Terri Hilferty to craft her dream dress. They took the Cambridge style and removed the sleeves but kept the lace appliques that adorned the bodice and dropped down to the full tulle skirt.
German model and influencer Annika Gassner also wore a Justin Alexander Signature gown, but not for her wedding day. Instead, she strutted down the red carpet at the 2017 Dreamball Berlin—an annual charity gala that raises money for female cancer patients.
The mermaid gown was beautiful on her and accented her body perfectly. This gown is the perfect example of Justin’s advice for future brides: find something you feel both comfortable and beautiful in! We can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon for this well-known and well-loved designer.