Up-and-coming eveningwear designer Katie Fong is the latest designer to join the bridal industry, and she's already gaining celebrity fans (including Taylor Swift) for her ladylike styles that are perfect for weddings. Specializing in elegant formal separates and fresh silhouettes for brides, bridal parties and guests, Fong's latest custom bridal service has us buzzing. We sat down with the designer in her New York City studio to discuss her start in the industry, her inspiration, and her unique design process.
She may be young, but she's been trained by the best.
At only 23 years old, the FIT-graduate apprenticed with the best in the industry before launching her namesake line in early 2013. "My passion for design began when I was very young. I studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, specializing in special occasion," Fong told Brides. While studying, Fong interned in the offices of Stella McCartney and Vera Wang, and spent three years as an apprentice to the design director of Oscar de la Renta, where she developed an increased appreciation for embroidery, details, and construction. "I graduated from FIT in 2012 and spent a year working a full-time job while designing custom dresses for clients in my spare time. Then, I launched Katie Fong in January 2013."
Her collections are inspired by simple beauty—oh, and luxury lingerie. Hello, sexy!
"The collection is inspired by my passion for the simply beautiful. I grew up in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, where the style of dress is simple, but always chic and well-made. I have a deep appreciation for luxury lingerie and bridal fabrics and finishings, and in my opinion, these exquisite details should be present in clothing for everyday wear. The collection is focused on subtle, dramatic elegance."
Photo: Courtesy of Katie Fong
Her gowns are made in the USA, of the best fabrics in the world.
"The entire collection is made in New York City. My brand is known primarily known for fine silks and laces, which I source all over the world, primarily from France, Italy, and Korea."
She counts Taylor Swift as a fan.
Taylor's styling team loves Fong's ladylike silhouettes and dainty lace looks — they've already pulled pieces from her collection specifically for the star. And that's no accident! "Taylor Swift is the epitome of the Katie Fong woman. I love her style—classic and feminine, reminiscent of the '50s and '60s with gathered skirts and tiny waists, while being very flirty. And, when she does a sleek look, she carries it off in an understated, yet dramatic way—like the long silk gowns she wears on red carpets, with just the right amount of skin."
She specializes in custom gowns for brides and bridal parties, at an approachable price.
"The custom-design experience begins with a consultation where we have a conversation about the bride's needs and preferences, and we discuss all the wedding details—the venue, colors, and season. After our conversation, I do a series of sketches that we review and adapt to create a confirmed design that the bride loves. What's unique about our custom service is that this design is then created in muslin, which allows us to completely perfect the fit and design details on the bride's body." The best part? Since her entire operation is based in NYC's garment district, the turn-around time is quick, and the price is low. Custom gowns start at $3,000. Not based in NYC? She'll come to you. Fong also offers the option of custom orders from the ready-to-wear collection for your bridesmaids.