If you’ve been reading Polka Dot Bride for awhile, you will be aware that we’re big fans of Henry Roth! Not only has he created gorgeous bridal labels (here with his parents and in new York with his sister) but he’s one of the kindest, most passionate designers you’ll ever meet! Also known as the mentor on Project Runway Australia, I feel honoured to have Henry Roth join us today on Polka Dot Bride!
Henry Roth “Zoe”
Tell me about yourself? What is your background?
My sister Michelle (my co-designer) and I represent the third generation of my family working in bridal design. I have a Law degree from Sydney University and experience working in marketing, promotion, advertising and event management in Sydney, London and New York. My design aesthetic comes both from being immersed in the bridal business from a very young age and from what I love to see women wearing.
What was the catalyst for setting up your wedding business in Australia?
The business was started 55 years ago by my parents Aneta and Joseph who are still very active in the company. They are Holocaust survivors and met in Australia after they fled here from the horrors of Europe post-WWII. They began making ladies coloured blouses and moved into bridal as it represented new beginnings and dreams for the future.
You started your business here as Henri Josef. You have recently changed the name to Henry Roth. What was the reason behind this?
During my 10 years living and designing in New York I had become known in the industry and the media as Henry Roth (though my surname is actually Weinreich) and this became my brand. I moved back to Australia a number of years ago to work with my parents in the Australian business and found that I was still identified as Henry Roth. My role as mentor on Project Runway Australia and fashion commentator in the media has underlined this identification. It was easier all round to embrace Henry Roth so as to not cause too much confusion!
Henry Roth “Harley”
What is your business philosophy?
Our business philosophy is the Australian philosophy of fairness, decency and hard work.
What services do you offer the Australian bride?
Every season we offer Australian brides an amazing array of beautiful gowns suitable for a number of different types of occasions. Our dresses are completely affordable with recommended retail prices averaging around $1500. Our brides are always blown away by the value. In addition we do a small range of gorgeous bridesmaid’s dresses which are always popular as they really are ‘wear again’.
What sets you apart from others?
I would say that it starts with my parents’ business philosophy. Basically it boils down to always treat others as you would wish to be treated
Henry Roth “Henrietta”
How do you keep your designs fresh? How do you keep up with the latest trends?
I love people watching and try to always relate my designs to real people, not just the dress form in the showroom. My role as fashion commentator has assisted with this as I am asked about red carpet trends and I have found that more and more brides are looking to the Hollywood red carpet for their very own red carpet moment down the aisle.
What inspires you about Australian women/brides?
Australian women are incredibly elegant but at the same time are always happy to try something a bit different and embrace the new.
Do you have a ‘special look’ that sets you apart from other wedding dress designers?
At the moment we are still loving the Grecian goddess look. Fabrications and beading details are very important to our designs.
You are stocked in many wedding dress boutiques around Australia. What is your philosophy behind this?
We love it that our dresses are available to a wide range of brides and their bridal parties all across Australia. We have always reached out to people everywhere. Our stockists are our lifeblood, they are incredibly dedicated and always enthusiastic. I love working with them.
Henry Roth “Margaret”
What is your number one tip for brides?
Remember the big picture, don’t sweat the small stuff.
What are your favourite wedding ideas?
Bridesmaids dresses in same colour, different style to suit each different body type.
What bridal trends do you see in the future?
Less bling, the details of the gown, whether it be draping, pleats or Swarovski will speak for themselves.
Could you give us 5 tips and tricks for the bride and groom?
Well- just one – take time and a deep breath and ensure you enjoy every moment!