MIKAEL D, celebrated for its luxury evening and bridal wear and worn by celebrities like Shakira, Halle Berry, and Mariah Carey, has launched its first Canadian showroom in Montreal. Mikael Derderian, the creative director and founder, discusses the brand’s unique offerings, consumer expectations, and future prospects in the Canadian market.
The brand is well known internationally as it has collections featured in over 20 locations worldwide including in Asia, Europe, North America, Middle East, Russia, South America, and now for the first time in Canada. The Montreal location is the brand’s third showroom with existing locations in Paris and Lebanon.
Located at 433 Chabanel West, the 6,750 square foot Montreal showroom opened on November 30th.
“We are celebrating our ninth year and gearing up for our tenth anniversary next year, marking it with a significant milestone – expanding into Montreal. This is not just an opening; it’s a homecoming, a return to the roots in my hometown of Montreal, where the journey began.”
Currently operating by appointment only, the showroom is set to be fully operational by early Spring and will also be celebrating its grand opening.
Offering high-end fashion and accessibility to the Canadian market, consumers can find wedding dresses in a variety of styles such as couture. Unique to the store is its option to rent dresses, allowing consumers to experience luxury fashion for special events without the commitment to purchasing and is also sustainable.
Innovative Ready-to-wear and rental services
Ready-to-wear options will be available to consumers this Spring. Consumers will be able to walk in, find a dress they like, and walk out with it – making it easier for those last-minute plans.
“As we move forward, we felt the need to evolve and take the brand to the next stop, offering more ready-to-wear collections that are accessible to a larger variety of consumers. This is about more coverage within the evening market itself, from cocktails to fancy dinners. It is our project that we started during the pandemic and now is coming to life. The ready-to-wear collection is about making our brand more accessible, while still retaining the high-quality and unique style that we are known for.”
Renting is both available for evening wear and wedding dresses. Consumers will need to book an appointment where they can try on a variety of options and customize the dress including adding sleeves, altering the size, or modifying necklines to better fit the consumers preferences and body type. During the appointment, rental fees and return policy will be noted.
“We feel like the need for the rental market is going to be huge. There is a shift towards wanting something grandiose and spectacular for special events, but not necessarily having a big budget or the desire to keep the dress afterwards. We are seeing more brides who want to look great for their social media and photos, but do not want to keep the dress or spend too much. It is not just about cost-effectiveness; it is also about being conscious of sustainability. The economy is hitting hard, and priorities are changing – people are more conscious about not overspending and are looking for sustainable options.”
Future Expansion Plans
While physical showroom expansion isn’t on the horizon at the moment, Derderian is excited the brand’s future including: plans for online sales, have a department store presence in Canada, collaborate with fashion schools and fresh talent in Canada, have manufacturers in Canada to handle orders, host high-profile events, and collaborate with other bridal stores.
“Our expansion plan is really more about creating additional divisions within our company, like a ready-to-wear bridal line that is accessible to other stores in Canada. We aim to approach partners and ex-partners within the Canadian market who have already sold our products, targeting a more price conscious market. We are looking to reach a bigger market share in Canada, not just by selling high-end products, but by offering collections at a wholesale level to different bridal stores.”
To keep designs fresh and innovative, Derderian says he is looking to add new Canadian talent starting in January. The plan is to hire new designers and collaborate with fashion schools in Canada to get the latest trends, new ideas, and creativity to the brand. By having the newest talent, the brand will also receive the newest fashion trends and will keep consumers guessing to what is next.
“I hope we can meet expectations and be able to host consumers in the new showroom whether it is directly there or it’s through our online channel, which we are developing as we go. We really want to make sure that the MIKAEL D brand becomes accessible to everyone and everybody can enjoy a small bit of that luxury element we have worked so hard on achieving.”