A store policy in the Shanghai bridal boutique of Chinese-American designer Vera Wang, which sees potential clients charged 3,000 yuan ($482) to try on a dress, has prompted accusations of bias.
The amount is payable in advance in order to book a 90-minute appointment at the store. The non-refundable deposit is deducted from the eventual cost of the gown but if a customer chooses not to buy one of the brand’s wedding dresses, then “the fee can be used toward other items in the store.”
There’s some upset that Wang’s Chinese customers are being treated differently to her clients elsewhere around the world. While the practice of ‘trying fees’ has been present in a number of Hong Kong stores, it’s a new trend for a global brand, and the first time that Wang’s bridal customers have been asked to set down deposits before even trying on a piece.
The brand explains the move as an attempt to “protect the copyright of the designer”. The Vera Wang release “also states that customers will be barred from taking photos or filming at the store.”