Fashion Talk
Ranu Coleman

Ranu Coleman

Chief Marketing Officer
Label – Azazie

Strategic pillars of our business is prioritising ease and convenience

Azazie is a leading US direct-to-consumer bridal and special occasion dress label founded by Charles Zhong. The brand currently serves one in ten US brides and through its new market launch, customers in the UK are now able to shop hundreds of gowns and bridal party dresses from the comfort of their own home. In an interview with Kiran Sahija, CMO of Azazie Ranu Coleman discusses the brand, its inspiration behind the collection, clientele and suggests some tips for future brides.

Fibre2Fashion : What does the name Azazie suggest?

Ranu Coleman:

The name Azazie was inspired by the namesake of a very trendy San Francisco restaurant and its French flared undertones.

Fibre2Fashion : How did Azazie come to life and what were the nuances experienced initially?

Ranu Coleman:

When Azazie’s founder + CEO and his wife were planning their wedding, he became frustrated by the process of buying a wedding dress. He realised how the wedding dress buying process is very costly, and a lot of the gowns that his wife was looking for didn’t fit everyone’s body type well. That is when he set out to create a platform that would cut out the middlemen and deliver a high-quality custom-fit dress to the consumer directly. He wanted to create a company that would help brides of every shape and size find their dream dress within their budget, but he wanted that all to be from the comfort of their own home and not a traditional brick and mortar store. Thus, what began as a small operation in a Silicon Valley garage is now an online retailer that serves 1 in 10 US brides.

Fibre2Fashion : Where do you find your creative nutrition for such an elegant collection?

Ranu Coleman:

At Azazie, we like to survey our customers frequently to ensure that we are designing styles made for them and products they want to see from us. We also extensively study the market and bridal trends that work for our demographic.

Fibre2Fashion : Where is your clientele majorly from in terms of geography?

Ranu Coleman:

Azazie is popular all throughout the US and we see areas of increased popularity in California, Texas, Florida and New York and we are seeing the brand becoming increasingly popular internationally as well!

Fibre2Fashion : Which area of marketing involves the maximum number of challenges for your brand?

Ranu Coleman:

The world of social media and the constant changes in advertisement strategy algorithms are a challenge for marketing to our demographic. We have to constantly adapt to new algorithms, laws, and regulations that are changing. It is such a rapid ecosystem, and we have to be on top of what is happening and how social media and advertisements are changing, so we can put in place a successful marketing plan and strategy every time we encounter these challenges.

Fibre2Fashion : How were the sales affected during the pandemic and what were the innovative practices approached?

Ranu Coleman:

When the pandemic began in 2020, we had seen an influx of traffic to our site and customers looking to us to fulfil dress needs as brick-and-mortar stores remained closed. With many weddings shifting to be virtual, elopements or micro-weddings and minimonies, we saw a need for more simple-yet-elegant designs and created a special dress collection called ‘Azazie Romance’. These high-quality yet affordable gowns were the perfect solution for brides who had to adjust their wedding plans due to the pandemic. Azazie also began offering bridesmaid dresses at even lower price points due to many people’s jobs being affected, and we also extended our return window to 45 days to help with the unexpectedness of wedding planning.

It was also important for us to do something for our community when the pandemic began. So, we decided to donate 50 bridal gowns to people who were affected by the pandemic, including those whose weddings had to be postponed, those that lost their job, and frontline workers and first responders. We also shared their stories with our community as a way to unite everyone so they wouldn’t feel so alone with what they were going through.

Fibre2Fashion : With so many wedding couture brands coming forward, what makes Azazie stand out?

Ranu Coleman:

Our position, focus and obsession is the customer and we’ve brought the most prized characteristics of traditional brick-and-mortar bridal shopping to the online platform—modernising the experience. We are essentially marrying the aspects of bridal shopping that customers like at a brick and mortar with the conveniences that a brick and mortar cannot provide. One of the strategic pillars of our business is prioritising ease and convenience. We think big, take risks and rapidly iterate in order to be on top of the competition.

Fibre2Fashion : Can you suggest some styling tips to slay in bridal outfit?

Ranu Coleman:

  • Wear comfortable yet discreet undergarments. A nude thong and strapless bra or your favourite shapewear are key.
  • Pick a silhouette that makes you feel confident and like yourself; Mermaid styles show off your curves while a ball gown adds a sense of drama! Pick the style that goes with your theme and your body type to really slay your dress.
  • Consider a less traditional length like a white mini dress for the reception – something fun and unexpected.
  • Add accessories with a pop of colour - floral jewellery or a red or hot pink shoe.

Fibre2Fashion : Which bridal couture designer’s design fascinates you the most?

Ranu Coleman:

Pnina Tornai’s couture designs fascinate us because they are not like the traditional standard wedding gowns; they are daring, sexy and incredibly unique and Pnina always adds her signature touches to them to make them a one of a kind Pnina design.

Fibre2Fashion : What are your forthcoming plans for the label? Are you planning to expand the same?

Ranu Coleman:

We are looking to expand into different product categories and also work with different brands and form additional strong partnerships.