TheFashionBrides Interviews: A Conversation with Rebecca Schoneveld

Love, hope, sincerity, exuberance, sensuality, future nostalgia. These are just a few words that can be used when describing Rebecca Schoneveld‘s work.  Your bridal gown will be the special outfit that will create a whole new life for you and your loved one. That’s why choosing it can be far from logical or practical. Rebecca Schoneveld creates magical gowns that will make all your dreams come true.

Over the years, the RS team has evolved, grown, contracted, and now What started out as a one-woman operation grew over 10 years into a team of 15 amazing people, a multi brand boutique in Brooklyn, a sample sale outlet, and more.

I had the opportunity to learn more about the brand from Rebbeca herself. Don’t forget to check her website and learn more about her stunning new bridal collection.

How did the brand come to be? When was it launched and what is the driving force behind it?

I have always loved beautiful things. I learned to sew as a small kid and eventually got a degree from FIT in Fashion Design. By the fall of 2010, I had been a designer in the NY garment industry for some years and was feeling very burned out. The industry’s relentless focus on turning over a profit while seeming to forget the emotional value of truly good design had just taken its toll on my heart.

While deeply re-evaluating my career path, I found out that I was pregnant with my first son. Knowing I was to be a mom gave me a new determination to build a life on my own terms. I pushed aside my tired cynicism and aimed to focus on my original joy and love of design. I figured, quite simply, that if I could build an independent life making beautiful things that made me happy and could make a few other women happy, that would be meaningful enough for me.

Though much has changed over the last 12 years, that part is still what drives me! I get to make beautiful things, with a team of beautiful people, things that make a lot of women really really happy! That is so deeply rewarding to me.

Talk us through the first years of your work. Maybe you could tell us what changed in time? Are your designs different from the very beginning?

In many ways, I have grown SO MUCH since I started. I can hardly believe how much I’ve learned from a decade in business for myself. I experimented with a lot of ideas over the years. However, I also dig through photos of my work from the very beginning, and I still love a lot of those designs! The biggest thing that has evolved for me is an increased confidence in who I am as a person and as a designer. With that has also come a better ability to edit. I now spend more time trying to make each design as perfect as possible and make sure there is a cohesive story, rather than churn out every idea that pops into my head.

Since way before I founded my company, I had this idea, which still is a core of what I do. That is: I want to invite women into an old-world experience of dressmaking, but in a modern way. My designs are beautifully thought through, however, there are always a lot of custom design changes a bride can choose with each one. We are not about just making as many trendy dresses for as many people as possible. Each dress is really made with an individual in mind. That slow fashion approach is something I believe the world needs more of.

Why should a bride-to-be choose one of your designs?

The fun thing is that she doesn’t have to choose one of my designs; she can choose a version of her own! Within my library of designs, there are hundreds of thousands of possibilities for a bride to get a gown that is completely her own. I have developed so many beautiful bodice shapes, skirt shapes, sleeves, embroideries, and more- All of which can be custom combined for a one-of-a-kind look.

I am passionate about celebrating people of all stripes. Being an inclusive designer to me means creating the *perfect* gown for a person no matter their size, age, gender identity, willingness to experiment, or modesty preferences.

All that said, I do have a style that is especially great for individuals who appreciate a somewhat pared-back (yet not at all boring) and vintage-inspired aesthetic. I work with a sense of restraint around my designs, as I feel clothes should celebrate their wearer, rather than turning the wearer into a walking advertisement for a designer (or worse- looking completely forgettable).

Do tell us a bit more about your inspiration sources.

I really love vintage fashion, and I love textiles. Whenever I’m feeling a little stuck, I just spend a few hours on the Met Museum’s Costume Institute archives. I work with a lot of European textile design houses, and a visit to one of their showrooms in New York City always leaves me feeling a little drunk on inspiration!

Have you got any piece you’ve created and that has a very special meaning for you? Can you describe it or can you show us a picture?

My own wedding dress that I designed and made for my 2019 wedding of course, is very meaningful to me. My husband is from Colorado and we fell in love (in that “how-soon-can-I-marry-you??” kind of way) on a summer road trip to Steamboat Springs. So we decided to elope with my boys and his daughter in Steamboat Springs over New Years, getting married by our friend who is an Episcopal priest in a tiny little chapel.

My maternal ancestors were pioneers in California during the 1800’s and I love that era as a historical reference. I decided to use French lace from my very first bridal collection and crafted a gown with luxurious, delicate details unlike anything my brides had been asking for. I wanted to show a more modest silhouette and super fabulous sleeves, in part to encourage brides to experiment with sleeves! Which seems to have worked because sleeves are hugely popular now.

From your point of view, what should a bride focus on when choosing her wedding dress for 2023/2024?

Brides everywhere, always, should focus on what makes THEM FEEL their best. Not what makes them “look” the best, or what anyone else says is the best. I feel it is so important to be present and intentional around a wedding. Choose details for your gown that just feel nice against your skin, or remind you of something you’ve always loved, a shape that you feel comfortable and confident in, or just makes you feel like “YOU” for some intangible reason. There is absolutely no reason to push yourself into a mold prescribed by anyone else, ever. And especially not so on this day.

Choosing a dress (or suit or outfit!) is a completely personal, emotional process. Listen to your heart and try to just let go of all those distractions.

 And tell us what you would offer her and, maybe, other brands can’t.

We are size inclusive, meaning we will make ANY size, and we do not charge different prices for different sizes. A size 0 is the same price as a size 28, for example. We’re also more than willing to adjust the details of any design from our Signature collection to suit a brides’ needs, and for those we don’t jack up the price unreasonably. Besides these practical points, we offer a design style that will not make you cringe 10-20 years from now, but will remind you of the joy you were feeling that day.

8. Last but not least, do you have any advice for FashionBride readers?

My advice is that when it comes to shopping for your gown, to trust your gut along the way. If you get bad vibes from a shop- maybe they don’t seem trustworthy or organized or maybe they make uncomfortable comments about your body- go somewhere else!

You want to work with a shop or designer who makes the experience as positive, smooth, and reassuring as possible. And when you’re choosing which gown (or outfit!) will be “the one”, just go with your deepest gut instinct. I always say, whichever option floats in front of your mind’s eye when you’re falling asleep is the one for you.

Find out more on Rebecca Schoneveld social media

Instagram  and Facebook 

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