Bridal style has never looked so effortlessly cool!
Designer Kai Petty has officially launched her fresh take on wedding fashion, Fifth & Welshire. Designed with a desire to transcend the world of bridal norms, the debut collection is elegant, unique, versatile, and affordable. No overpaying for an industry-standard, single-wear dress here! The edit of contemporary, luxury pieces brings the modern bride a host of ensemble options to style her dream wedding look.
Read below for our chat with Kai, and grab a peek of the stunning Fifth & Welshire pieces available now!
Have you always been drawn to bridal fashion?
No. I initially considered coming out with a general ready-to-wear line but something about it wasn’t really moving me at the time. I was torn between that or a bridal line. Based on my experiences with my wedding, bridal fashion kind of chose me.
How did you come up with the idea of starting a contemporary bridal brand?
I came up with the idea to start a bridal brand after planning my own wedding ten years ago. It was so hard to find something to wear to all of the wedding events that was chic enough for the occasion but also transcended it. I didn’t want to just buy a dress that happened to be white and wear it to my bridal shower. I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a dress that I would only wear one time. Based on my experience, I realized there was space in the market for my take on bridal.
What was the process of designing your own wedding outfit like?
I didn’t go the traditional route of gown shopping. I saw an Oscar de la Renta gown online and fell in love. I didn’t want to look at anything else. I found the gown at a bridal shop in Washington, DC. I called to inquire about the price and after receiving the price, it was decided at that moment that I would design my own gown and my Mom volunteered to make it. I sketched a few options with inspiration from the Oscar gown and my dress was made in a weekend.
Do you think the pandemic has had an effect on bridal style?
Yes. I believe the pandemic has made us all pause and really focus on what is most important. I think brides are opting for more minimal looks. It seems kind of weird in my opinion to wear a $8,000 gown to city hall or your backyard for a Zoom wedding.
Where does the name Fifth & Welshire come from?
Fifth comes from my favorite number 5. I have always gravitated towards the number 5 for some reason. When I started doing more research on the number I learned that it is often representative of love and marriage so I felt like it was meant to be. Welshire comes from the street I grew up on. Welshire Drive in Prince George’s County Maryland was the place where all of my dreams were born.
How would you describe a Fifth & Welshire bride?
The Fifth & Welshire bride is the cool girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground. She is in her 30’s to early 40’s and loves the arts and traveling just as much as she loves staying in and reading a good book. She is making a name for herself in the corporate world and believes in timeless style over trends. She is not the ball gown girl. She opts for timeless silhouettes and minimal details.
What's the one piece of advice you'd give to all brides searching for their perfect look?
Less is more. Consider what your pictures will look like ten years from now.
What are you most excited for next?
I am most excited for where Fifth & Welshire is headed. We want to be a part of every aspect of a bride’s special day. We can’t wait to show the world what we are planning.
[Photos courtesy Fifth & Welshire]