Bridge Collections Defined - Terms of Interest to the Fashion Industry

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A bridge clothing line is the price point below a “designer collection” but above a “better collection”.  For example Dolce and Gabbana would be a designer line and the brand D&G would be that companies bridge line.  G&G would retail at a lower price point than the Dolce and Gabbana collection.  Additional examples of a bridge fashion collection includes Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan's DKNY line, Emmanuel Ungaro's Emmanuel line and JOE for Joseph Abboud. 

A "bridge" between better and designer.  Bridge is usually the lower priced or secondary lines of fashion designers.  Bridge products have the look of designer products but are made from less expensive fabrics and trim components.  There is a large amount of competition in this apparel price range category because the garments are at a lower cost then the designer label but they have the similar brand recognition and possible prestige.  In today’s world of fashion, just about every designer has a bridge line.  When a popular designer notices that their audience for truly expensive clothes starts to shrink, designers seek salvation by creating their own secondary lines.

It's a word retailers coined to describe clothes priced to bridge the gap between expensive and moderate.

In the opinion of Apparel Search, the bridge market can get over saturated.  As designers determine they are not growing as quickly as they had in the past with their designer collection, they feel that they must enter the bridge market.  However, they may not be capable of creating “multiple” fantastic collections.   They will sometimes face a sameness of the product.  Often consumers are confronted with not enough differentiation as they may see in the designer market.  Possibly, there is simply too much merchandise in bridge.  At some times, more product than demand.

Comfort and fit are important criteria to the bridge customer.  Many consumers in this price range are business professionals and need to be fashionable as well as comfortable in the work place.

Popular fashion designers want their bridge collections to have the same design sensibility as their higher-priced lines.  This is one of the reasons that the collection is still fairly high priced and has exceptionally high quality.  If the designer want to spin much farther from the designer collection, they have the option to create a collection in a lower classification such as better, contemporary, or moderate.  You can learn more about the other collection category ranges at our Apparel Industry Price Points definition page.

Unlike some others, Isaac Mizrahi has presented his bridge line, Isaac, in a formal runway show.

CK Calvin Klein has developed a more sophisticated attitude as the designer has moved some of the sportier pieces into his CK Jeans line.

Many other designers have entered this collection classification.   You are welcome to discuss your favorite bridge collections in the discussion area below.  Share your thoughts, questions, or comments on the subject.

Written by ML at Apparel Search February 20, 2014.

You may want to also read about contemporary lines.

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