As the seasons slowly change to summer, you can be sure to count on at least three constants. The public beaches and outdoor pools will open, the seawall and patio traffic will increase exponentially and a ton of people will be getting married.
Truvelle is a Vancouver based bridal company in Gastown owned by Gaby Bayona. Still in her early 20s, Bayona was recently included in BC Business’s 2015 30 under 30 list celebrating what she has accomplished in her career so far. Previous to Truvelle, Bayona worked as both a designer and a seamstress alongside her mother at Ellebay, their custom bridal gown boutique located in New Westminster.
I had the pleasure of meeting Bayona at her Gastown showroom to ask her a few questions before her Truvelle pop-up shop and sample sale officially opened on May 16.
Please introduce yourself and what you do.
My name is Gaby Bayona and I design and run a Vancouver based bridal company called Truvelle in Gastown. We sell our designs worldwide through 28 retailers, 20 independent bridal boutiques, our online store and our showroom. Everything we do is modern, effortless and caters to the non-traditional bride rather than girls looking for poofy wedding gowns.
Previous to Truvelle, you ran another bridal boutique with your mother called Ellebay?
Yes, I loved doing Ellebay. We were doing custom gowns and it was great but the problem was, you just couldn’t scale it. When we were making custom gowns the brides expected either myself or my mum to be sewing it. So if one of us got sick, we were in trouble because we had noone else to make the gowns for us. So at the end of bridal season in 2013, I just decided that I’m gonna start a new company. I’m gonna focus more on myself doing the designs rather than me being the maker and just hire seamstresses to make my designs for me.
I read somewhere that most of the fabrics you use for your dresses are sourced within Canada?
We try to when possible, a lot of our fabrics comes from our supplier in Montreal who actually have a showroom just down the street in Gastown. The fabrics we don’t get from that company, we would get from France or Spain, some from the states.
And all of the labour is done here in Vancouver?
Yes, it’s all done locally.
Why is that important for you? To have as much material and labour sourced within Canada as possible?
Mainly because I like to be able to oversee everything. For example, if I were to send the dresses out, there just would be too much left up in the air and that makes me nervous. This company is my baby and I don’t want anything to go wrong with the gowns. It’s also because we’re doing small scale production and we can’t meet these huge minimums that factories would require in China. Since we’re able to do small scale production, however, we’re able to do customizations and work closely with clients to make sure they’re really getting what they want.
Your designs are inspired a lot by the people that you work with and from your travels, so I wanted to ask where you were planning on travelling next?
I’ve done a lot of travelling! For my last collection I travelled to Las Vegas, California, Toronto, New York, London, Paris and Amsterdam. I actually just came back from a month and a half of travelling in Europe too! We were in Barcelona shooting our product shots and the South of Spain shooting our lookbook. Then I went over to Paris to hang with a bud, to London to take some classes, Copenhagen to hang with another bud, then back to Vancouver. I don’t know if I’m gonna be doing any traveling for a while; I just got back two and a half weeks ago so travelling isn’t really on my mind right now.
Do you keep journals when you’re travelling to write down your thoughts? Because I know all the product descriptions are things that you’ve actually written from your travels.
No I don’t, I mean, I’m pretty good at keeping a good diary just through Instagram. So I can just scroll through my feed and those images will spark memories. Then I can just spend a late night writing descriptions.
I know that your latest collection, especially the color story, kind of follows along with bridal trends for this year. Do you intentionally follow bridal trends at all?
Not really, I mean I prefer looking at fashion for inspiration rather then bridal. It just so happens that rose gold and warm colors were popular this year. Like for example, next year I plan to do cool tones just because I’ve been doing a lot of rose gold and I don’t want to be known as that, ‘rose gold sequin dress designer.’ So that may or may not be a trend, but I’m not too concerned about it.
If you could design a dress for any celebrity living or dead, who would it be and why?
I love Alexa Chung. I just think she’s really smart, witty and beautiful. Not only does she look great in the clothes, but she kind of transforms those clothes into her own personality which I think is hard to do.
Ok last question, what is your favourite part about a wedding?
I would say, the community of it. How all of your best friends and loved ones come together for a celebration of peoples love; I think that’s really beautiful. I think a wedding should just be a celebration of that, and who doesn’t love a good party anyways?
Truvelle will be hosting a sample sale featuring major discounts on Truvelle gowns with slight quality variations from the 2014-15 collections. Discounts will range from 20% to 50% off retail prices. In addition, they will have some previews from their 2016 collection! Their “Maker Collaboration” will be available to be viewed and purchased in-store for these two weeks only with exclusive accessory designs by Catherine Hartley and Olivia.
Where: 315 Abbott Street, Vancouver
When: Until May 31, 2015
Time: Noon to 6 p.m. daily