Interview on Naeem Khan with Cristina Bedwell, Manager of The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel.
Wit: Tell us about the Saks Jandel Bridal Salon buying process. How do you determine which designer brands to feature?
Cristina: We pride ourselves on carrying the top designers in the bridal industry, and we are sticklers for good quality as well. There are so many gowns out there that look beautiful in photos, but up close the quality is poor. Our customers always comment that they feel the difference in our gowns the minute they put them on. We go to New York Bridal Market twice a year to see our vendors' newest collections, and we always try to see a couple new people as well. That way we keep up with changes in the market, and see if there is anything new and exciting that we want to add to our store.
Wit: We love your newest featured designer, the talented and personable, Naeem Khan. Can you talk to us about the designer and his Fall/Winter 2015 bridal collection?
Cristina: We are so honored to be carrying Naeem Khan's bridal line which was just launched in Fall 2014. He just showed us his third bridal collection, which is absolutely gorgeous. The thing I love about Naeem Khan gowns is they are so different. Each gown is a beautiful and unique work of art with the most amazing beading and thread embroideries and fabric treatments. However, they all are very identifiable as Naeem Khan. I love to see the abundance of new necklines in the bridal market, and my favorite gowns from Naeem's Fall 2015 collection both have long sleeves (Marbella and Morocco). Despite being covered, they are still super sexy!
Wit: Naeem Khan apprenticed with Halston. Do you see any Halston influence in Khan's bridal designs?
Cristina: When I think of Halston, I think of fairly minimalistic designs, which seems like the opposite of Naeem's style. However, clearly Naeem was very influenced by the effortlessness of Halston's designs - the lightness and ease that his clothes have, because Naeem Khan gowns have the same quality. He designs for a modern woman and wants her to feel effortlessly beautiful in his gowns. You won't find lots of layers and heavy crinolines in the skirts of these dresses.
Wit: How would you describe the bride who wears Naeem Khan?
Cristina: She is sophisticated and fashion forward. She wants red-carpet glamour. Most importantly, she wants something different, something special. Not the same thing all of her friends have worn. When you fall in love with a Naeem Khan gown, that's it! You won't find anything similar anywhere else!
Wit: When is your upcoming Naeem Khan trunk show, so that our brides may schedule an appointment with your salon?
Cristina: Brides can see them Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Friday and Saturday the fantastic Marco Cattoretti, Global Bridal Sales Director of Naeem Khan, will be here to meet our customers!
Wit: Naeem Khan has dressed notable figures, such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Emily Blunt, Kate Beckinsale, Rose Huntington Whiteley, Brooke Shields, and the like. How do you see his red carpet gowns influenced in his bridal line?
Cristina: Naeem Khan knows how to make a woman feel like a movie star. You just feel so glamourous when you slip into his gowns. He is definitely pushing bridal towards a more evening, red-carpet look. And who doesn't want to feel like a movie star??
Photographs courtesy of Weddings Unveiled Magazine Summer 2014.