Many successful high-end fashion designers need to take unrelenting control of their creations from the hint of inception.
But that strategy doesn’t really apply to Joan Dominiqué, the Paradise Valley native who recently launched her bridal line—the latest in the 25-year-old’s fashion empire that bears her name.
In fact, personal images of her own future wedding day don’t shimmy their way into her work.
“It’s funny, when I’m drawing or designing I don’t necessarily think about my own. I think about how the fabric flows and work out the designs with different fabrics,” says Dominiqué, who’s got a soft spot for Italian silks. “I let the material speak to me.”
Dominiqué’s talents as a fashion translator was first proven with her head-turning shoe line that found its way onto the feet of celebrities and influencers flaunting her status symbol kicks.
And now, she’s demonstrating that skill again with her new line that covers gowns—and naturally, shoes—designed and tailored to make the bride who sports them look and feel not like a cute princess seeking approval, but more like a stunningly beautiful queen with the confidence to do anything and everything she desires.
A recent client who came into Dominiqué’s storefront to try on dresses is the epitome of her vision. After a string of unsuccessful and exhausting wedding shopping errands, Dominiqué’s served as a haven, providing respite amidst a flurry of must-dos for the weary bride-to-be.
But once she donned those gowns, she owned life. Even if just for that day.
And that makes Dominiqué smile.
“She felt sexy, empowered, strong. That’s how I want women to feel,” Dominiqué recalls.
Since opening her bridal division and welcoming clients by appointment this summer, Dominiqué offers guests a luxe showroom with all the accoutrements to make the experience fun and far from anything seemingly stressful. Complimentary 90-minute shopping appointments can be scheduled online.
Brides and their friends sip on champagne and coffee. To get further into the vibe, brides can sit in the makeup space to try wares from Dominiqué’s all-inclusive, vegan, and cruelty-free beauty line, which features matte liquid lipsticks with fun names like Mother of the Bride and Ceremony at Dusk, as well as brow pencils, eyeliners, eyeshadow palettes, and lip liners.
The bridal line has been a concept brewing in Dominiqué’s head for a while. She wasn’t sure if she would take the plunge. Then, circumstances beyond her control gave her a nudge.
“Once the pandemic hit, I saw a huge shift, and felt it was a good time,” she says.
Dominiqué worked on it for more than a year before unveiling it to the public this spring.
Her line is geared toward the romantic sophisticate, regardless of age. She shies away from the whimsical or Bohemian themes prevalent in the works of many bridal designers today. She prefers the more tailored looks by artists like Alexander McQueen, and applies them to bridal gowns.
“He brought sartorial to high fashion, and I’d like to think I’m doing that with bridal,” she says. “I like going for the niche of timelessness.”
Dominiqué is an established veteran in the fashion industry. Her professional resume features names like Alice + Olivia, Kenneth Cole, and Diane von Furstenberg. She has a degree from Parsons' School of Fashion at The New School, the alma mater of Donna Karan, the iconic American designer who first showed an elementary school-age Dominiqué that designing clothes was a viable career option.
Dominiqué worked for designers in the U.S. and Europe before starting her fashion house in 2018.
But, perhaps nothing tops seeing her work’s impact on others. She talks about seeing women beam and express pure joy and awe seeing themselves in one of her creations.
“It’s nice that it translates to someone who doesn’t know me… that someone else got to see my vision,” she says. “It’s about that proud moment when you see happy clients who love your work as much as you do.”