Bebe, the omnipresent mall chain store that hawks terrycloth track suits and clubwear, is launching a bridal line as part of an initiative to revamp their brand's image, Women's Wear Daily reports today.
The bridal line, set to debut in March, will be the next prong in Bebe's attack on its leopard-print-and-plunging-neckline soaked image, following up a workwear initiative the company already tried -- and we think, missed the mark on -- in August.
But we're thinking Bebe's upcoming wedding gown collection might be just the thing the struggling brand needs right now, having shed $100 million in revenues since the recession. Here are three reasons why:
1. They scored a well-known designer. "Project Runway" runner-up and fan favorite Rami Kashou will be helming the bridal collection for Bebe. Kashou's done bridal collections before (see some of the designs on his website), and the silhouettes are dramatic yet tasteful -- just what Bebe needs.
2. Previous successes of low-budget bridal lines. The popularity of wallet-friendly wedding gowns, like the inexpensive replica of Bella Swan's wedding dress for Alfred Angelo or the Disney Princess wedding gowns, has proven that cheap wedding dresses will sell. Anthropologie/Urban Outfitters' launch of wedding line BHLDN has been good for the brand. And honestly, in these times, very few of us can afford to splash a bunch of G's on a wedding gown; stores everywhere would do well to cater to the budget brides-to-be.
3. It's a sign the brand is maturing. When we lived in Miami, Bebe was the go-to place for college girls to scoop up sparkly tube tops and headband-sized miniskirts to wear to the clubs on South Beach, and the store's reputation for selling tarted-up clubwear never quite faded from our mind.
Bebe is rumored to be switching style gears in an attempt to court an older audience, by producing more workwear and more, uh, relaxed fit clothing. A wedding line conveys maturity -- something Bebe desperately needs.
Below, see the workwear collection Bebe launched back in August as part of its "workwear" makeover. Do you think they're getting the mature look right?