It’s no secret that we’ve been avid admirers of bohemian bridal label Grace Loves Lace from day dot. Effortlessly luxurious, the fashion-forward brand leads the way in modern yet accessible bridal in Australia and beyond.
Easily one of the most popular designers amongst our readers, you’ll find many a GLL bride throughout our pages. Since its launch in 2010, the Grace Loves Lace brand has built a cult international following, capturing a sizable portion of the online wedding dress market. At the heart of the success of this Gold Coast based brand is its founder and creative director, Megan Ziems.
We caught up with Megan to learn a little about her inspiration for starting the iconic label and the journey it’s taken her on thus far.
Grace Loves Lace has defined bohemian bridal in Australia and internationally, what was your inspiration for starting the label?
The inspiration to launch GLL hit me like a truck from lack of inspiration whilst trying to find my own wedding gown. Of course up until then I hadn’t thought about a wedding dress before but I think the best businesses are launched out of filling a gap in a market that you wanted for yourself.
I looked high and low for a gown but couldn’t find one that I even remotely connected with. I knew the market needed luxury made wearable, comfortable and accessible for women anywhere in the world. Every woman wants to be a showstopper on her wedding day but we do it in an effortless and natural way.
Can you tell us a little about your background? Have you always worked in fashion?
My background was working in Sales and Brand Management for International luxury lingerie labels, which I did for about 9 years. I was based in Australia but regularly travelled for the shows in NYC, Lyon, Paris, London, Harrogate.
My Mum is a designer so I have always been in an environment where lace, patterns, samples were discussed as second nature. My family are in Europe and my Mum has always been into luxurious French laces so it was kind of ingrained in me to have an appreciation for that quality and specialty. We arrived in Australia when I was 3 and Mum definitely brought with her all of her passion for the fashion industry that she had been handed down from generations above her.
You have a beautiful Gold Coast store (and a brand new one in LA!) but is it safe to say most brides buy your gowns online? Do you think brides are more open to shopping online for their dream dress than they were 5 years ago?
Absolutely! Grace Loves Lace really changed the way brides think about how to find The Gown! It really shouldn’t be tedious process. Our gowns are safe to purchase confidently online which is the only reason we based our whole business model that way – I wouldn’t be selling non-stretch, boned, zip up gowns online as I wouldn’t personally be confident in the fit.
Our fabrics, fits, patterns and the fact that we make-to-order to each bride’s measurements in our own studio without outsourcing any element of the manufacturing overseas is a huge part of why we have such a stellar reputation. 90% of our brides order without trying on a sample in one of our showrooms and we deliver worldwide.
What do you feel has been the label’s greatest accomplishment to date?
We grew by 300% every single year since our launch, so I’m hugely proud of being able to handle the growth and still maintain such a high quality product and exceptional service. Our International growth and the market share we have captured is a big accomplishment, especially for a privately owned start-up.
Where do you find your inspiration?
You can’t flick through instagram without coming across a model or photographer you want to work with or a destination you fall in love with; it’s inspo overload! I’m a massive art lover and adore following my favourite artists (right now loving Min-Woo Bang, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, David Hockney, Ted O’Donnell, Miranda Skoczek…I love following the Tate and Saatchi Galleries. I adore anything Chanel and Chloe do and of course every time you pick up a Vogue or Harpers you want to tear out and keep a million pages!
We understand you’re involved in every creative aspect of the brand, from design to campaign direction. What does a day in the life of Megan Ziems look like?
Unfortunately it’s generally not very glamorous at all! I am behind a computer most days/nights and revolve my day around Managers and Production meetings, reviewing content and marketing plans, updates on sales, looking at new laces and discussing future collections. It is very diverse and I love it. I also have a little boy so I usually have him tagged along.