Danielle Frankel’s Approach to Bridal is Anything but Conventional

In a world of tulle and lace, Danielle Frankel Studio’s gowns are a breath of fresh air.

Danielle Frankel Hirsch isn’t here for the pomp and circumstance. A stark contrast to most in her industry, she’s created a directional bridal label for women to feel like the best version of themselves on their big day. And while her custom designs have been famously chosen by “it” brides like Zoe Kravitz, it’s not the sort of moment that drives Hirsch forward. “When you see anyone so notable wearing your designs it’s such a great feeling, but at the end of the day what we really want to see is real women in our gowns,” says Hirsch. “It’s obviously great to have the celebrity moment, but I think that you feel fulfilled when it’s a real woman choosing to wear your gown.” And so, that’s exactly who Hirsch designs for. 

These days, there are many real women choosing to wear Hirsch’s expertly crafted gowns. Perhaps they’re not the kind of traditional wedding dresses that many brides dreamed of wearing growing up, but as they’ve matured, Hirsch’s designs have become exactly the type of modern yet romantic dresses that they’re looking for. Hirsch and her team, who offer gowns up to size 24 through her collections and custom design services, know their bride inside and out. “It’s someone who is confident and motivated to wear something that’s exceptionally made,” says Hirsch. It’s important to this woman that it’s made in New York. “She is somebody who cares about fabrication and at the same time she also wants something that is forever. It’s the balance of all those things that create a moment for our client.”

After starting her label at age 27, Hirsch became the first bridal designer to be recognized by the CFDA Vouge Fashion Fund when she took home the second-place prize in 2019. And since the beginning, she’s designed with longevity in mind. “I personally don’t think of trends whatsoever,” she says. “I think it’s a dangerous place to go for wedding gowns.” Instead, Hirsch seeks to create striking but classic gowns that stand the test of time. “We like to think about our garments and how they can live on forever, but feel very current,” explains Hirsch. “What is going to last here and why does it feel like the bride today with this gown in particular? That’s always the question we’re asking ourselves as a brand.”

One way Hirsch achieves this nearly impossible feat is through fabrication. “We’re choosing to work with fabrics like jersey this season, which is very unconventional for a wedding dress, but it feels very new and something that won’t fall out over the next 20, 30, 40 years,” says Hirsch. “We feel this is still a fabrication that you can pass down to your granddaughter one day,” she adds. Hirsch’s signature fabric is a silk wool, also not typically seen in bridal either. “We have these elements within our fabrics that make them highly unique,” she says. “This season, we’re using a fabric that has metal woven into it, which creates these purposeful creases that are really truly stunning, almost like the mistake is built in,” she says. “I think that’s truly beautiful. We like to find these quirks in the fabrics that really work for us.”

In Hirsch’s latest collection, there’s a marked evolution. “With every season, we try to challenge what our craftmanship is, and it gets even better. We hone in on what we’re good at,” she notes. “I think that in this collection, it goes back to this maturity thing, we’ve really grown,” she says. “That’s because we have an amazing team of people who have been ingrained in the bridal industry for years but are then looking at it from a new point of view. I think that’s the brand ethos,” she adds. “It’s really what makes us tick.” In a way, it’s a perfect union.