Amsale New York Re-Launches Amsale Nouvelle Brand Collection at New York Spring 2019 Bridal Fashion Week
April 13, 2018 – Honoring the wishes of the beloved late founder and creative director Amsale Aberra, Amsale New York’s Spring 2019 Bridal Collection debuted today at The Gramercy Terrace at The Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City. Ms. Aberra died Sunday, April 1, 2018, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital of uterine cancer at age 64, surrounded by close friends and family. It was among her last wishes that the show goes on as planned.
“Amsale was not only an inspiration to the company but someone who inspired and impacted everyone around her with her strength, kindness, and humility,” said her husband and the company’s CEO, Clarence O’Neill Brown, in a statement announcing her passing. “Working side by side we spent 360 degrees of our life together, and I know only too well both her creative genius and her infinite goodness. Words cannot express the personal loss that we feel, but we are comforted by the avalanche of support we’ve received and the commitment of our team to carry on Amsale’s legacy,”
Today’s runway presentation paid tribute to Amsale by featuring her last designed collection, Iconic Simplicity, and by re-launching the Amsale Nouvelle collection to reach a broader and growing demographic of international brides at more accessible price points.
Neil Brown, Amsale Aberra’s husband and CEO of Amsale commented, “Amsale trusted the talented and growing Amsale team to carry on her legacy in response to strong customer demand. Today we are honored to present the Iconic Simplicity collection and re-launch the Amsale Nouvelle collection to expand the Amsale brand reach while staying true to Amsale’s style and vision for the future.”
The final designed collection by Amsale Aberra, Iconic Simplicity, was inspired by cathedral elegance, expressed through dresses that are grand, yet modern, and designed for each individual bride in mind. The collection statement silhouettes are upscale ball gowns, pearl and crystal beading and draped bows. Texture in the collection is shown in a non-traditional lace and layered fabrication. Femininity is translated in form-fitting silhouettes, open backs and gently scoop necklines. Unmistakably Amsale, the Spring 2019 collection has stunning details, accentuating individuality with effortless elegance.
The re-launched Spring 2019 Amsale Nouvelle also debuted on the runway today, reflecting Amsale’s sense of timeless simplicity and understated glamor. Originally conceived as an exclusive collection for Nordstrom, the Amsale Nouvelle Collection has now expanded to a stand-alone collection designed for the modern and effortless bride who understands fashion but stays true to her personal style.
Mikado and crepe fabrics highlight Amsale’s signature tailoring and clean lines in the new collection and with her remarkable style comes a softer attitude shown in delicate layers of tulle and embroidered lace. Balancing chic and statement-making, the Spring 2019 collection also features dramatic taffeta ball gowns with low backs and ample volume. The Amsale Nouvelle Collection re-launches with 15 silhouettes beginning at $2,000.
Beginning with the Fall 2019 Collection, Margo Lafontaine will oversee Amsale’s extensive design and development team. Lafontaine was most recently senior studio director of Vera Wang where she had worked for nearly 12 years. Lafontaine joins studio director Sarah Swann, who arrived at Amsale to manage the operation of the design division.
For over 30 years, Amsale New York has been an iconic brand known for designs that are powerful in their simplicity. Drama, Ms. Aberra believed, emerges when a single, striking detail—unexpected volume is offset by a clean silhouette. Her greatest joy in life was to ensure brides feel beautiful on their special day and the new leaders of the design studios—Lafontaine and Swann– honor her by continuing the legacy.
Ms. Aberra, born in Ethiopia, began the business in 1986 after failing to find just the right elegant but understated look for her own wedding. Her first bridal shop followed on Madison Avenue.
While Ms. Aberra began as a custom designer, her first wholesale client was the famed Kleinfeld store after she showed a collection to co-founder Hedda Kleinfeld Schachter and she purchased it on the spot.
Twice included on Ebony’s “Power 150” list of the most influential African-Americans, Ms. Aberra dressed numerous celebrities, including Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Selma Blaire, Katy Perry and Hilaria Baldwin. In addition, her wedding gowns appeared in films, including “Runaway Bride,” “Analyze This,” “American Wedding” and “The Hangover,” along with television shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy.”