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February 13, 1987 - Image 88

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-02-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

CARLA JEAN SCHWARTZ

Section Editor

Interview
With Priscilla

Sleek contemporary look from
Priscilla. Charmeuse, shirred and
gathered from the empire line to the
hipline, shapes an hourglass figure.
Shoulder pads accentuate the
lace-decorated yoke. Slim skirt
drapes from the hipline and falls to
the ankle. Lace headwrap with
poufed veiling.

p

riscilla C. Kidder is
the founder and
president of Priscilla
of Boston, an
internationally recognized
bridal fashion firm. She has
been in business for over 40
years and designed gowns
for three White House
weddings, as well as several
other celebrities. As a
retailer and manufacturer,
she sets bridal fashion
styles, and is referred to as
the "E .F . Hutton of the
bridal industry."
Although she is known to
the world as Priscilla, she
called herself Mrs. Kidder
in this exclusive telephone
interview for The Jewish
News.
Q. How and when did
you first get interested in
designing bridal
fashions?
A: Well, it was quite a
few years ago, and I
modeled and wore bridal
gowns. They fascinated me.
I worked for a department
store at that time, and I was
put into the ready-to-wear
department, and they had a
small case of bridal gowns
and that interested me. I
was at that point in school
designing and this was a
part time job. So, all in all
my eye sort of shaped into
the feeling of
ready-to-wear. I was going
to do underwear, and that is
sort of a lot like bridal. Isn't
it? I just somehow wiggled
over to bridal and
eventually I was made
bridal buyer instead of
designer. I held that
position for ten years. After
that I went into my own
business of bride shops in
1945. Then I couldn't define
what I wanted actually. So,
I decided to design my own
and make my own (bridal
gowns) for my store. They
were selling very well. I had
some friends in the
business; they were buyers
and bought bridalwear.
They looked at them and
liked them, and off I went
into the wholesale end. So, I
had a retail store and then

wholesale. In between you
might add there was lots of
hard work to get there.
Q: What do you
attribute your success
to?
A: Hard work. Lots of
energy. Love what you do
because if you didn't, you
wouldn't stay in it. It's a
very difficult career. You're
dealing with people. It's
like a doctor in a sense or a
psychiatrist, they (clients)
have many moods, and we
catch most of them when
they're buying a dress.
Q: You are an
innovator and have been
referred to as the "E.F.
Hutton" of the bridal
industry. How do you
think you've changed the
bridal industry in the
United States?
A: Well, I think the fact
that I did dresses that were
different looking and used
fabrics that were probably a
little different. People
copied me, and they still do.
There isn't anything we
don't do that people don't
look to see what we are
doing, so they can copy it.
But that's success. You
have to face it, and go to
something else. You can't
sit still; you can't stand
still. Either way, you have
to continue doing things
that are innovating.
Although bridal doesn't
seem sometimes like it's
innovating, it is. It has to
be. Otherwise, you don't
stay on top.
Q: Discuss some of the
trends of the bridal
gowns over the years.
A: The one thing that
has stayed with us more
than anything is the classic
look. The very simple look
seems to be the winner.
There's always been the
look of ruffles and elaborate
things. They sort of come
and go for different looks.
For instance, one time
ruffles were the only thing a
bride wore. She spent a lot
of money. In those days
ruffles cost a lot more than
they do now. Then you
would add little things like
beads or trinkets to make it
look extravagant. And now
it's gone into a tremendous

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