What is a bridge line?

[glossary entry]

A bridge line refers to a pricing and styling category of misses apparel. Typically, bridge designers are one notch under designer lines. Bridge lines have more unique styling than contemporary misses but are -usually- not as pricey as designer lines. The hierarchy with regard to styling, price and exclusivity from highest to lowest is:

  • Haute Couture
  • Designer RTW
  • Bridge
  • Contemporary

An example of an up and coming bridge designer would be a DE named Hilton Hollis; I’ve been looking at his stuff lately [he’s talented but needs some guidance focusing and weeding his line; some of his things are orphans and just do not go together]. A lot of bridge designers are DEs. Once they get their acts together, they often move up to the category of designer level apparel. Price-wise, these days bridge and designer lines are pretty competitive although bridge lines have the reputation of being edgier and riskier design-wise. The designer lines are more established with a patina of respectability.

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9 comments

  1. moss says:

    Can you be more specific as to what you like about Mr. Hollis? To me it just looks like, blah blah blah, not very unusual. Like I think I could just pick up a pattern and some interesting fabric and make any of that stuff.

    My ignorance is showing, see?

  2. Kathleen says:

    Can you be more specific as to what you like about Mr. Hollis? To me it just looks like, blah blah blah, not very unusual. Like I think I could just pick up a pattern and some interesting fabric and make any of that stuff. My ignorance is showing, see?

    Marj, you’re not the slightest bit ignorant so stop fishing.

    Who said I liked Mr Hollis? There were any number of other designers I could have picked; it’s just that I ran across his name three times in as many days. He drew my attention because he’d be ideal for me to do a line review. And you’re right, some of those pieces don’t belong there, they’re not that unusual. The pieces don’t go together. The coats don’t match anything and he has cocktail dresses. Weird. This isn’t his whole line here, he also has some sportswear. If you’re going to do coats and cocktail dresses, they should match each other. He only had one matching ensemble that I could see, most of the suiting pieces didn’t match anything either. It’s as tho he put together a line of orphans. He had one coat that was kind of interesting but I thought he ruined it with the style lines of the pocket not matching the seam between the upper and lower front side panel. How he’s done it just makes it look choppy (in my opinion). That just broke it up too much. I also don’t like the dot things, whatever those are on the bottom of the coat.

    The piece I found most interesting was this jacket but the photo obscures the look of the pattern. Make note of the stripe and how it changes direction (shoulder and front that you can see). Pity that the photo of this style obscures the most significant feature of the jacket.

  3. Karen C. says:

    It always just boggles my mind when a designer puts out apparel that has no cohesiveness to the “collection.” Where’s the point of view?

  4. moss says:

    Who said I liked Mr Hollis

    You said he was talented. *shrug* And I maintain that I am ignorant because I don’t work in fashion at all. I just dig clothes.

    :)

    Yeah, his “matching” ensemble, in my opinion, only matches color-wise. It does not match in mood at all. I think the dress is pretty formal (in a sorority girl way) and the jacket is kind of business casual or even weekendy.

    I liked the blue coat best also, it seemed to be the only thing that was individual. I see how the seams look offset and that it ruins the flow.

    As for that pinstripe jacket, I hate those particular pinstripes on it and I don’t think the shirt matches.

    And my least favorite is the white lace ensemble.

    I would love to see a line review (for this or any line). You drew my attention to things I completely didn’t notice when I first looked at the clothes. I got distracted by the model I guess. I think she is lovely.

  5. Judith says:

    Kathleen, excuse my lack of knowledge. What is considered contemporary? Could you please give an example.
    What is Nanette Lepore considered in this hierarchy?
    Thank you, Judith

  6. Kathleen says:

    What is considered contemporary? Could you please give an example. What is Nanette Lepore considered in this hierarchy?

    The lines between categories are never clear but if anyone out there has a better description, feel free to jump in.

    The categories generally refer to pricing and quality level. I’d consider contemporary to be branded mid-level fashion lines you’d find in department stores. I don’t shop much (at all) so no names come to mind. I am not familiar with Nanette but I reviewed her spring line on the web and she’s hard to peg although I’m assuming her stuff runs at higher price points. Personally, if I were consulting with her, I’d recommend that she split her line up into different labels because it looks to me that she’s doing three categories, bridge, contemporary and contemporary sportswear. While I wouldn’t exactly say that some pieces were orphans, I think the different styles should be grouped accordingly. Just my opinion.

  7. diana says:

    What im trying to unerstand are all the steps along the path of clothing.. A “Better women’s sportswear collection” for kellwood for example
    includes branded goods sold at the popular-to-moderate price points.

    They also have a Better-to-bridge lines – upper price point women’s sportswear sold principally to specialty stores, department stores and catalog houses.

    What is a better line? (price points)
    What is a bridge line? (price points)
    What makes something better-to-bridge? (price points)
    Where does the contemporary line come in?

  8. tina says:

    Hi,

    Can you pls explain, what ARE the selling price point ranges at which Bridge, Better, Contemporary and Designer RTW stand?

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