STORE SPACES

Kleinfeld Bridal says ‘yes’ to improved lighting

BY Marianne Wilson

The iconic store that is home to the popular “Say Yes To The Dress” reality TV show has deployed new lighting that puts its bridal fashions in the best — and most accurate — light.

Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan upgraded the lighting in its 19 fitting rooms, surrounding hallways and sitting area with lamps from Amerlux. The new solution solved a big challenge for the retailer: When brides-to-be came in for their fittings, they complained the dresses they ordered didn’t look right. The colors were off. Sometimes staff walked their customers outside the building with the gown to reassure them they were looking at the same dress that they had purchased. With dresses costing between $2,000 and $40,000 each, anything less than perfection was not an option.

“When a bride comes into a fitting room, she’s trying on a dress that she already ordered,” said Jacques Vigneault, VP and creative director at Kleinfeld’s. “We needed the lighting that was very accurate to the right color. We can’t be having discussions with customers about color at this point. We don’t want to have to take the dress outside in the sunlight to prove the dress is the right color.”

The retailer brought in Clifford Starr, a lighting designer at GoodMart in New York, to relight the store’s fitting rooms. He chose Amerlux’s square downlights (Hornet HP dim-to-warm), which are equipped with Class A LED chips for exquisite color rendering and lensed optics. The LED chips render color at a level far beyond what standard LEDs can deliver, according to Amerlux, with the end result that the downlights bring out the true colors in Kleinfeld’s bridal dresses in ways that the old lighting could not.

Starr entirely reworked the lighting plan to create a cleaner looking space. And by reducing the fixture count per fitting room, he was able to deliver better quality light, more evenly than the old luminaires could. The lensed square Hornet model was chosen to coordinate with the existing square lighting in the nearby cashier area and stairwells.

“I wanted to elevate the fitting room to the same caliber of the dresses,” explained Starr. “They had a lot of recessed lighting and it was overkill,” he said. “I cut down on the lighting [from nine round downlights] to seven recessed downlights — one over the center of the mirror and then three on each side. That eliminated most of the shadows.”

In addition, controls were installed with the Amerlux lights so Kleinfeld’s sales staff can present the wedding dress in a variety of lighting scenarios to match what the bride-to-be will have on her special day.

Vigneault is very pleased with the outcome.

“Because we are in bridal, our needs are very specific,” he said. “Color accuracy and sharpness are very important. Many of our wedding dresses have sparkles or gemstones, and the new lights make the dresses pop. The light itself is beautiful.”

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