Anthropologie, the retailer known for its twee and often vintage-inspired fashions and home goods, opened its first BHLDN “shop within a shop” store in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.
The sister label, pronounced “beholden,” launched as an online bridal collection in 2011 and has since expanded to two standalone brick-and-mortar stores in Chicago and Houston.
But the Beverly Drive location, taking up 1,000 square feet on the mezzanine level of the existing 10,000-square-feet Anthropologie store, represents the first time both brands have coexisted in the same space.
The company is hoping to expand the concept, a spokeswoman said. BHLDN joins a parade of mall-based retailers launching more affordable and casual bridal lines in recent years, including J. Crew, Bebe, Kate Spade and Ann Taylor.
The permanent Beverly Hills boutique is already booked solid for three weeks of appointments, with brides as far as Kentucky making reservations for consultations as far into the future as February.
Lace-laden and beaded dresses are modeled by slate-colored mannequins standing on a rough-hewn wood floor. Roughly 20 styles – including design collaborations with Anna Sui, Badgley Mischka and Collette Dinnigan – are showcased.
Bolero jackets and Gatsby-style kimono robes hang near a massive mirror. Clutches and shoes rest in a white cupboard near a case of accessories.
Like many standard bridal salons, the West Coast BHLDN will offer free meetings with stylists, starting with an edited assortment from the Fall/Winter 2013 collection. On a normal weekend day, the airy boudoir-esque space can fit 15 appointments.
Brides can also use BHLDN for the usual fittings.
But BHLDN also aims to serve up a less complicated retail experience than most brides experience, the company said.
Unlike high-end designers such as Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier, where dresses often breach the $10,000 mark, BHLDN dresses at the Beverly Hills location range from $600 to less than $3,000.
Gowns that elsewhere would require six months to arrive at a bride’s door can be shipped and returned for free, often within a week. BHLDN dresses can also be sent overnight.
The gowns are also designed true to size, a practice not standard in the wedding industry.