As if spending thousands of dollars on a wedding dress you will only wear once isn’t hard enough to justify, Vera Wang has found a way to charge for never wearing that dress at all. At the bridal specialist’s new Shanghai location, the designer’s first store in mainland China, they are charging 3,000 yuan ($492 Canadian) just to use the change rooms.
Brides-to-be have 90 minutes to try on gowns from among the store’s 80 designs. If a sale is made, the fee is deducted from the final price, which can range from 30,000 to 300,000 yuan, or about $5,000 to $50,000 CAD.
In a statement, the company explains the fee is in place to “protect the copyright of the designer.” Counterfeiting is rampant in China and Vera Wang is not the first store to fight back with unusual policies. Dolce & Gabanna sparked headlines for blocking photos of their window display at a Hong Kong location. Photography is banned at this Vera Wang location as well.
While China may have a unique problem with counterfeiting, one critic on the blog Shainghaiist objected to Chinese women being singled out while Vera Wang locations in other parts of the world reportedly turn cartwheels to spoil their customers, including by serving their customers wine.
I get that fighting knock-offs is important to the label, but I’m surprised that Vera would let anything stand in the way of a customer spending five figures on a dress. Forget free access to the change room. For that price they should find you a groom as well.