It was after tying the knot herself that Kyha Simpson was inspired to launch what is now known as the legendary One Day Bridal. Coming from a family that’s always been immersed in style, it’s no surprise that Kyha was well-equipped to create one of the most fashion-forward bridal labels of our time. Girls – these really ain’t your mama’s wedding dresses.
Based in South Melbourne, where all gowns are designed and made by hand, Kyha and her amazing team have continued to introduce playful yet sophisticated and contemporary designs to the bridal market, proving time and time again that sometimes all you need is a little innovation, a pinch of glamour and a can-do attitude.
Since launching in 2014 with their very first collection, ‘Curious Hearts’, the brand’s popularity and spectacular reputation have been unmatched, succeeding the debut range with wins such as 2015’s ‘I Choose Disco’, 2016’s ‘Blessed Are the Curious’ and, of course, this year’s ‘Electric Dreamers’.
But wait…that’s not all, folks. Perhaps what One Day is best known for are their incredible, one-of-a-kind custom garments as well as (most recently) the ‘CHOSEN’ range – a cohesive collection of ready-to-wear, lower price point gowns that reflect the One Day Bridal aesthetic.
Geared towards the bride who isn’t afraid to throw away the rulebook and do things her own way, One Day Bridal continues to shock and seduce us with their unique take on the wild world of bridal fashion.
Recently we were lucky enough to have Kyha take the time out of her day to show us around her Melbourne workroom and, with hair and makeup artist Tanya from The Future Mrs and photographer Jack Steel in tow, we sat down for a chat and picked out our fave gowns to share with you…
What sparked your interest in fashion? My mum has a real flair for fashion and she has been a great source of inspiration for me. She owned her own business and designed sportswear which was all manufactured here in Melbourne. From an early age, I learned about the hard work that goes into fashion and having your own brand.
When did you know you wanted to be a bridal designer? As I went through the journey of finding my own wedding dress six years ago now I really struggled finding something that was ‘me’. I finally ended up having a gown custom designed, however, I found the process difficult and disappointing. From this experience, I identified so many misconceptions about what a bride ‘should’ look like. So I took a leap of faith and created a brand that was not your typical wedding brand.
How do you produce your designs? All of our One Day garments are designed and handmade in our South Melbourne studio. This year we have also started to develop and design our own fabrics which are exclusive to us. Our new ONE DAY collection, due to be released in June, showcases some new incredible beading we have designed and produced in-house.
Talk to us about the defining differences between One Day Bridal and CHOSEN by One Day… The process of creating a ONE DAY gown involves an extensive fitting process with our team of skilled pattern makers, seamstresses and hand-finishers. Due to this in-depth process ONE DAY is not able to meet the worldwide demand we were experiencing so, CHOSEN was born. Our design team created a cohesive collection of ready-to-wear gowns that reflected the ONE DAY aesthetic, fitting most body types with minimal alterations required. All CHOSEN gowns are made to a standard dress size and can be altered with ease.
We hear you have a new space opening up? What can we hope to find there? We are so excited to have recently opened the ONE DAY boutique at our South Melbourne studio. Designed as a walk in retail space, our new boutique exclusively houses our diffusion brand CHOSEN here in Melbourne. We also have our in-house range of jewellery, as well as fine jewellery by Claire Aristides, headpieces by New York designer Jennifer Behr, lingerie and robes. We have also just launched menswear label Mr Day. Now available in-store, these classic ties and bow ties are perfect for the groom and his groomsmen or as a gift, I find men always so hard to buy for! These are perfect. The space has been designed as if it was your own personal walk-in-wardrobe. Surrounded by white linen sheer curtains, pink velvet, brass details and an incredible quartz encrusted wallpaper.
How has your work evolved since you began your label? I am extremely lucky to have the support of a team who constantly push me (and each other) to grow and develop across all areas of the business. I am now confident in taking bigger risks and trying new techniques to continue to grow and create designs that are unique and inspiring.
How has the industry changed since you began your label? Since I started One Day, a lot has changed, and a lot has also remained constant. Over the last five years, the number of non-traditional weddings has grown. Brides are now taking more risks and looking for a wedding gown that truly represents them and their style. The demand for non-traditional wedding gowns internationally has also evolved since I started out. Whilst visiting New York Bridal Fashion Week last October it was so humbling to hear how the rest of the world looks towards Australia and their designers as front-runners in bridal fashion. This has certainly inspired me to continue to work towards designing wedding gowns with a point of difference.
What would you say your most popular bridal gown is at the moment? Our Nala gown from last year’s ONE DAY collection ‘Blessed Are the Curious’ has been our most popular gown. Our brides love the gold tones of this exclusive fabric and the classic full circle skirt design complements and highlights the incredible beading work.
And what has been your favourite collection thus far? ‘Blessed Are the Curious’ has definitely been a highlight. We worked with such an incredible team on the photo shoot which meant everything fell into place and the result was incredible. The response we received was so overwhelming, it’s hard to go past that collection. However, the new One Day Collection has some of my favourite designs to date!
Where do you find your inspiration? My process really stems from the fabrics I use and the design evolves from there. Whether it’s a sequinned georgette that drapes beautifully, an intricate lace that would look stunning hand appliquéd over a neckline or an intricate lace which is used to contour the lines of the body, the whole process starts with the fabric. I do have a particular style that I love and I always believe less is more. If I stick to this I usually find something beautiful evolves.
What’s the best part of being a designer? I think my favourite part of being a designer is being able to be creative every single day. I am constantly taking inspiration from day-to-day experiences and I am always looking at what’s next, what hasn’t been done and how can we create something no one has seen before. My team and I are always taking on new projects and designing new products. It’s exciting.
How would you describe the One Day Bridal bride? She is a professional and works hard. She is looking for a gown like nothing anyone has ever seen before. She appreciates the process and loves the made-to-measure journey. She expects the highest level of customer service and appreciates the attention to detail. She wants to make a statement.
What’s your favourite fabric to work with? I am obsessed with our new Bonded Georgette fabric we have created. It is amazing to work with and creates a fresh modern look which I love.
Can you tell us a little bit about your typical day in the studio? No two days are the same and every day is busy. We are still quite a small team of about ten so there is always a lot for everyone to do. We are consistently meeting beautiful new brides and in fittings with our current brides. One of my favourite times is when we start designing our new collections. There is always a great energy with new ideas, fabrics and techniques being tried and tested. It’s busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What do your consultations involve? A consultation at ONE DAY is a private and intimate experience. We take the time to chat with you before trying any gowns to get a better idea of your personality and style, your wedding and how you want to look on your special day. From here we hand select a range of gowns we think would be perfect based on your body shape, style and everything we have discussed. From here, the fun begins. Our ONE DAY gowns all involve a fitting process. As the gown is constructed we take the time to ensure the fit is absolutely perfect. This process is one of the most memorable for our brides in the lead-up to the wedding.
And what can we expect to see from One Day and CHOSEN in the future? We are currently working on taking CHOSEN international. We already have a number of stockists in the US, but we are in the process of taking the brand further and expanding the ready-to-wear side.
Has anything surprised you about the journey to creating your business? I think everything has surprised me in one way or another. When you start a small business, everything happens quickly and not usually to plan either. But what I have learnt is to take the good with the bad, and the hard with the successes.