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Wedding dress customizer Anomalie raises $13M as bridal stores crumble

David’s Bridal once owned 50% of the $36 billion wedding gown market before it filed for bankruptcy last year. Brides were growing sick of the lack of styles and sizes plus high prices at expensive brick & mortar shops. The industry was destined for disruption by software that would replace overhead costs and inflexibility with direct-to-consumer personalization.
That’s why I profiled a new custom wedding dress startup back in 2016 called Anomalie despite little funding or traction. The rise of Instagram meant every bride wanted to look unique on a budget, not pay $5000 for a cookie-cutter $200 dress that happened to be white. Anomalie was willing to embrace software to offer 4 billion design permutations and break the markup cartel by selling gowns starting at $1000.
2.5 years later, Anomalie has begun to prove that cheaper doesn’t have to look cheap and custom doesn’t have to cause a headache. 13% of US brides, 275,000 out of 2.1 million, created an Anomalie account in the last year. With David’s Bridal looking shaky and wedding dresses being a seven-times larger market than bedding and mattresses, investors eagerly proposed to Anomalie. Today the startup announces a $13.6 million Series A led by consumer product VC Goodwater Capital .
Wedding dress customizer Anomalie raises $13M as bridal stores crumble

“I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of working with brides. Other companies would kill for this costumer. She’s so obsessed with every detail of her wedding dress. it’s just a perfect environment to collect data” says Anomalie co-founder and CEO Leslie Voorhees. “Long lead time, high margin, this industry that’s completely f*cked up —  it’s the perfect place to start this mass customization engine beginning with the wedding dress” she tells me, hinting at the startup’s potential to customize other clothing too.
Anomalie is also flexing its tech muscle today with the launch of its new dress sketch visualizer. Choose between a few options on shape, cut, color, pattern, and fabric, and you’ll see an algorithmic sketch of your dream dress appear instantly. Anomalie then pairs you with a squad of its designers to finalize the details, ship swatches, and get you your gown with a 100% refund policy if it’s not right.
The startup’s nest egg will go towards hiring more engineers plus bringing more of production in-house to offer additional features like this. But Voorhees insists that “I don’t think we’ll ever completely automate away the stylists. Customer don’t care about AI or machine learning, but they want to trust us to pull the ideas out of their heads.”
Wedding dress customizer Anomalie raises $13M as bridal stores crumble
Anomalie co-founder and CEO Leslie Voorhees
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