Urban Outfitters to Make Wedding Gowns

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Photo: Jed Egan; Images: Justephen's flickr, iStockphoto

Yesterday Urban Outfitters Inc. unveiled record fourth-quarter results: a 91.6 percent increase in net income and a 15.8 percent increase in sales. Analysts would have a hard time laughing at a company with such impressive numbers, and so it was the perfect time for the retailer to reveal that its new company would be a bridal label.

Urban Outfitters has been on a roll lately. When you need something — a leather mini, tight pants, an ugly plaid flannel, pumps — Urban is there for you with expanded online offerings at prices you can afford. The wedding industry is a $60 billion one. Couple that with whatever the hipster fashion industry is worth and you've got a concept — bridesters! — that's sure to make Urban Inc. even wealthier and more irresistible than it already is.

Urban hasn't quite figured out what the new bridester business will encompass, but it will start online before the physical stores open. The gowns — or perhaps wedding-white jeggings — will be made under the Anthropologie label, and run from $1,000 to $5,000. Urban Inc.'s CEO says his bridal attire will be "heirlooms, to be passed on from one generation to the next," which is a great way to convince brides to purchase an exorbitantly priced dress they'll (hopefully) only have the chance to wear once. (The average bride spends $4,500 on her wedding attire, while the average wedding costs $45,000.)

Urban's bridester stuff will also include bridestermaids dresses, diamond ear gages fine jewelry, Arden Wohl headbands accessories, glitter Converses shoes, new Facebook templates invitations, and a bridal registry for secondhand floor lamps gifts. They may also offer flowers, planning, and travel services, which may or may not include the bikes Urban now sells online, but with branded toilet paper trailing off the back.

Urban to Enter Bridal [WWD]