Vera Wang has been under fire recently for the nearly $500 fee to try on wedding gowns at her Shanghai flagship. So much, in fact, that her team finally pulled the ridiculous charge.
Brides-to-be who forked over the nearly $500 fee were treated to afternoon tea, a consultation, and a 90-minute fitting, which is usually enough time to try on eight to 10 gowns. If they ended up buying a gown, the fee would be taken out of the gown’s price. If not, well, that was just money down the drain.
A store staffer explained the reason behind the fee to WWD:
“A lot of high school and college students were coming here and weren’t serious about buying a wedding dress so that’s why we started the fitting fee. We just wanted to make sure we were serving the right customers, and the [fee] is then redeemable off the purchase price of any gown.”
Though that statement differs from what a company spokesman told Reuters, that the fee was instituted to prevent counterfeiters from trying on Wang’s gowns in order to steal the designs. Considering how many counterfeit goods come from China, this fee was kind of understandable. But in addition to it being offensive to the Chinese, it’s also not effective: Reuters cites one counterfeiter who doesn’t even need to look at a Wang dress to copy it. Impressive, no?
The company issued a terse statement to Reuters:
“Please kindly be informed that Vera Wang has abolished appointment fees at her bridal salons worldwide starting from March 27, 2013.”
Meanwhile, a statement to WWD fleshes out the situation a bit:
“Upon careful investigation and review of the policies of our international operators, we will be abolishing appointment fees in all of our stores. We wish for all Vera Wang customers to enjoy the same standard of excellence worldwide. Treating our customers in a fair and equitable way remains a priority. The store in Shanghai has only been open to private VIP preview appointments. The official opening to the public will take place on April 29.”
The icing on this terrible cake: Wang herself is Chinese, and her parents are, in fact, from Shanghai. Let that sink in, and then learn more in the video below: