The Bridal Path
Having pioneered online luxury shopping straight from the runway, Moda Operandi has launched a lucrative new aisle—for wedding dresses.
On the front wall of Moda Operandi’s otherwise sleek, modern, downtown-manhattan ofce is a cast-iron dinner bell with a rope pulley. Whenever the luxury online fashion retailer made a sale over $20,000, CEO Deborah Nicodemus would ring the bell to the cheers of staf at Moda, as the fve-year-old e-commerce operation is known.
But over the last 14 months Nicodemus watched the percentage of $20,000-plus purchases—embellished gowns from Spanish couturier Delpozo, for instance, or in one record-setting case, a $413,000 ruby necklace—climb from zero to more than 10% of Moda’s total business. The bell now waits until a shopper spends $50,000.
Soon enough, however, even that fgure may prove too low. In 2015 Moda had $68 million in revenues, up from $46 million the year before. By 2020, Nicodemus tells FORBES matter-offactly, the company will take in $500 million. “We’re on track to do that,” she says. “We deliver on our commitments. It’s not just a document. It’s not just a plan.”
Part of that plan includes Moda’s frst bridal collection, which launched last spring after the team discovered that eight of its bestselling gowns of 2014 had been white. Wedding dresses from sought-after labels such as Monique Lhuillier and Naeem Khan can easily cost more than $10,000 on their own, but add a pair of heels, a clutch and jewels and the order value skyrockets for a bride’s big day. Moda can also take the process ofine by ofering private appointments at its showrooms in New York and London.
Moda Operandi launched in 2011 as the solution to a frst-world problem of the highest order. The wealthy, thirtysomething women who make