Jesus Peiro is truly one-of-a-kind in Bridalwear. The brand boasts the 3rd position in terms of sales worldwide within the Spanish wedding gown industry, only out-ranked by Pronovias and Rosa Clará. However, I believe that it is a one-of-a-kind brand not only because it is number 3, but because of its essence. Their success is not due to an influx of financing or outsourcing production to countries with cheap labor – on the contrary, this company, that is about to celebrate its 30th anniversary, has stayed true to their essence all of these years. And their essence is quite simple: teamwork, quality designs and superb customer service, with all of their production based in Spain.
They are true visionaries in interpreting a Bride’s needs, the trends and how they evolve from year to year. I was fortunate enough to interview Merche Segarra, the designer behind the brand name, and not only speak with her in their showroom, but also have a hands-on tour of their atelier located just outside the city of Barcelona.
Merche Segarra is a talented woman who was immersed in the graphic arts industry as a youngster. She studied fine arts and later on decided to combine it with a fashion degree. After finishing her studies, she went to the fashion capital of the world, Milan, to study pattern crafting. “This helped me to understand the technical aspect of the design work. It’s a very technical jobb, almost like architecture applied to the fashion world. I learned to value all of the phases of design, and to listen to our pattern creators when they tell me – Merche, this fabric doesn’t cut well for this pattern, we have to change the fabric of this dress – for example.” After years of working at a pret-a-porter atelier specialized in older women and learning the psychology that drives women of all ages, Jesus Díez, the current propietor of the brand, approached Merche to recruit her as the sole wedding dress designer of the company.
She still reminisces about her first collection, back in 2003 – which consisted of 100 dresses – and how happy she was at the success of that very first collection. But as Merche stresses, “I am not a haute couture designer nor do I aspire to be one. I love what I do, and I love to design, but my work is just as important as the seamstresses’, the pattern cutters’ or the shop clerks. We are all working with the same goal in mind – to give Brides what they are looking for and ensure that they have their dream wedding dress.”
Jesus Peiró is specialized in wedding dresses only. They do not design party dresses, bridesmaids dresses, or anything else but wedding dresses. This makes them truly unique as well, because their work and focus is only on the Bride – who else can say that? Merche’s designs are created with a contemporary, romantic, trendy and elegant woman in mind without succumbing to being a fashion victim – this kind of woman knows how to adapt each trend to her personal style. As Merche states “A wedding dress is a classic, white, long dress that celebrates a very important rite of passage in a woman’s life, getting married. Our Brides look for a fusion of a traditional white dress with today’s trends. They value quality and elegance over ostentisity.”
Their customer service is one of the key pillars of the brand. They pride themselves in designing hand-crafted dresses, offering accessibility and passion to all of their Brides. Given that they are a small company in comparison to the two brands that lead the Spanish wedding dress industry, they use this to their advantage. They have all of their production in Spain; absolutely every dress is made by hand, and are therefore able to provide maximum flexibility and agility to each and every Bride. There are multibrand stores, for example, that have trained their shop clerks so that if a Bride needs an “express dress” the clerks only show the Brides Jesus Peiró designs. For Jesus Peiró, an express dress is crafted in 10 days, sometimes even less!
Merche remembers one of the most challenging yet rewarding moments “We had a phone call from a store in Southern Spain. It was a Thursday, and the wedding was that Saturday. The Mother and the Bride were in hysterics because the wedding dress didn’t fit right. What did we do? The production manager stopped all production in the atelier. Every single person began to work on the dress.”
“First the pattern designer called the store and specified each and every measurement that had to be taken – we needed very detailed, segmented measurements, almost like a CAT-scan for a dress! Once we had those measurements, 3 fabric cutters started cutting the dress patterns at the same time, two seamstresses sowed the dress side-by-side – from different angles – with a third seamstress sowing by hand. The dress was finished and delivered to the Bride that Friday! On Monday, the Mother of the Bride called us and said I have my daughter here next to me, but she can’t get on the phone, she is still so overwhelmed with joy that she’s crying. But we both wanted to say how extremely grateful we are for your help.” This is the spirit, this is the soul of Jesus Peiró – the name of the Bride is even crafted on the tag of each dress!
Did you know that Jesus Peiró is the only bridal wear brand that is certified 100% Spanish crafted? After a grueling two-and-a-half years of auditing by an external company, Jesus Peiró was granted the certificate which proves that all of their production is locally based in Spain. Not one single piece of the dress, not even their accessories, are crafted elsewhere. For Brides who value excellence in design and hand-crafted, artisan quality Jesus Peiró can’t be beat! And I got to experience this first-hand during my visit to the atelier.
My visit to the atelier was truly gratifying. It was a thrill to see Merche’s creative process in real life (we can’t share photos with you, unfortunately) and to see how a wedding dress collection is born from an inspiration board or a moodboard. Swatches of fabric strewn here and there, designs of dresses on paper and then seeing them in real life, how they’re cut, how they’re sown. It was like a visit to an amusement park for me! Monica of the Jesus Peiró team introduced me to everyone there and I got to spend some time not only with Merche and Jesus, but all of the people that work together to make each and every single dress that is worn by a Bride.
Marta, one of the pattern designers, explained to the degree to which their work is important, at the time of receiving an order for a store. As she mentioned “we were creating a dress for an older Bride who was 60 years old. The measurements that we received from the store were not correct. Even though we all have a different body shape, size, dimension, we are all more or less similar in terms of proportions. And these measurements were totally unproportional. So we asked the store to re-measure the Bride, and to send us a photo as well. That’s when we realized that the problem was that the Bride wasn’t wearing a suitable bra. Something as seemingly insignificant as wearing the correct bra can completely throw off a design, and make the wedding dress look bad on the Bride.” Jesus Peiró’s team is truly a team devoted to the Bride. They not only design the dress, they also advise Brides on the type of bra, underwear, etc., that the Bride needs to wear on their wedding day, to ensure that the dress is a perfect fit.
What does Merche advise all Brides out there looking for their dream wedding dress? “I advise them to do it calmly. There are lots of collections, lots of designers and it’s very easy for a Bride to get stressed out over the choice of wedding dress”, Merche states. It’s important that the Bride knows herself well and that she stays true to what she is. She has to cover her needs, not anyone else’s or what her social circle will think. Choosing the wedding dress, in reality, is like her first ceremony, it is also a rite of passage. Her second ceremony will be her wedding ceremony. Brides must choose their confidants wisely, because this experience will create an even closer bond with them. So it’s imperative that the Bride brings people with her who know her well and will help her choose the best dress for her.
Want to check out more of their wedding dress collection? Click here for more information!
And if you want the Jesus Peiró team to hand-craft your wedding dress, they will be happy to! They have points of sale worldwide, in cities such as New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Dubai, Sidney or Cape Town, among many others, click here to find a store near you that carries their brand. Enjoy searching for your wedding dress!
Photo Credits: Carolina Sainz