Get ready to swoon—we have a brand new designer collection coming to Kleinfeld that you NEED to see. Say hello to Rebecca Schoneveld
, our newest designer crafting wedding dresses right here in New York with a chic and fresh feel. We sat down with head designer, whom the collection is named after, to get the scoop on how she got her start in bridal, her inspiration for the collection, and why inclusivity is the most important part of her business, below.
As a former bridal studio owner herself, her perspective on designing wedding dresses is different than most.
While her studio, Shone Bride, which opened in 2015, sadly had to close due to the pandemic, her ownership of her studio taught her so much about designing wedding dresses. “What [Shone] taught me is that it is so important to listen to what women really want, even if they themselves have a hard time putting that desire into words. What I felt so strongly is that many, many brides want to feel like themselves on their wedding day. They want to wear something elevated and beautiful, but they want to wear the gown, they don’t want the gown to wear them,” she explains. “They want to feel good about their gown choice, from both sentimental and practical perspectives. Owning the store and meeting so many brides encouraged me to keep working towards my vision for a lighter, more simplified wedding day look,” she boasts.
Her bridal business began in a humble way.
After closing her RTW label due to the financial crisis of 2008, Rebecca was determined to start again, and in 2010, she opened a small Etsy shop. “I posted a few silk party dresses that I had made myself. Almost immediately, women started messaging me saying things like ‘wow, I love your aesthetic, can you make these in floor length and ivory?’ From there, things kept snowballing towards a full bridal collection. Year after year, my collection and business grew, and, well, here we are,” she laughs.
Her inspiration? Fabrics and the female form.
“My main inspiration always comes from movement, form, and individual personalities. I was a ballet dancer growing up, and I find the elegance and soft strength of the female form endlessly mesmerizing,” Rebecca explains. ” I am obsessed with fabrics. I love how they can flow and sculpt—it can feel like the textile speaks to me. It says how it wants to be draped and shaped and I just listen to that,” she laughs. “When I design, I spend a lot of time standing in front of a long mirror and draping fabrics over myself, while making quick tiny sketches. I can get lost for hours imagining the women each new design speaks to”
Inclusivity is her priority.
Here at Kleinfeld, inclusivity is our priority—that’s why we pride ourselves at carrying the largest selection of size-inclusive wedding dresses in the world, and hundreds of affordable styles as well. Rebecca also makes inclusivity her priority. “I truly want as many people as possible to experience the joy and lightness that can come from beautiful design. First and foremost, that translates to offering my collection in all sizes, with no price differences between larger or smaller sizes,” she explains. Often times, designers may charge a fee for larger sizes, but Rebecca has promised to make pricing for her styles the same, no matter what size the style is ordered in. “Second, I try really hard to offer a very high-quality, ethically made product at a fair price. Because overpriced fashion is, by definition, quite exclusionary,” she says.
Her dresses are trendy yet timeless.
“I’m really enjoying that more brides are open to dramatic sleeves. They provide such a wonderful opportunity for expression. I also am seeing more brides leaning towards ‘minimal with a little something extra’—think crepe skirts with carefully designed embroidered or lace tops, or clean gowns with just a touch of textured detailing on the back or train,” she says.
Her styles are all about flattering comfort.
“I work very hard on designing bodices that support a real woman’s curves without burdening her with too many layers, and I strive to make each gown as comfortable as possible. Lightness, breathability, and softness are all key,” she says.
Her designs are thoughtfully crafted.
“I like to say, a great gown is made like a great meal: Compose a few high-quality ingredients, and combine them with skill in just the right proportions, and there you just may find magic,” says Rebecca “Many of my embroideries are handmade, with carefully engineered and hand-sketched designs, and many of my fabrics are sourced from generations-old mills in Spain, Italy, and France. I love supporting these artisans, and I appreciate their craftsmanship so much,”
Customizations are possible.
“My entire collection has always centered around the concept of mixing and matching elements of different designs to come up with one of a kind looks in an easy and accessible way,” says Rebecca, “This ‘modular design’ process allows me to respond to the desires of all kinds of brides! Raising necklines, swapping skirt shapes, adding sleeves—that kind of flexibility allows me to design gowns that work for all ages and backgrounds,”
Her advice? Listen to your heart.
“I often say to my brides, this is NOT a practical decision—it is almost completely emotional,” says Rebecca. “Try to avoid too many outside opinions and just go with something that gives you goosebumps, the one that feels like you. Whichever design keeps floating up in your mind is the one!”