Many of you may recognize Renée Strauss from her TLC show Brides of Beverly Hills. She has been styling brides and creating wedding bliss for 30 years so it was my total pleasure to meet with her and learn that she’s still just as passionate about what she does today as when she first began – maybe even more because her love has evolved over time.
I recently became aware of an up-and-coming bridal gown designer named Sareh Nouri. When I first saw her gowns I immediately knew I wanted to get my hands on them and see if they were as fabulous in person as the images I saw. This led me to the amazing salon of Renée Strauss in West Hollywood, where I had a chance to see the gorgeous gowns and also to sit down with the celebrity stylist and chat about all things love, romance, and weddings.
Andrea - Renee your collection is curated from around the world. Can you tell me a little about it?
Renée- I have designers from around the globe. One of the things I love being able to say to brides is that, “we shop the world for you. Because it’s true!” I get to utilize my love of travel and the salon features both established as well as up and coming designers from Europe and across the US. New-comers with a bright future ahead of them like Sareh Nouri, for example, who you came to see today.
Andrea – Sareh’s collection is beautiful and you have a number of her fabulous gowns here. What do you think makes it so special?
Renée - She has a real eye for detail and the quality of her fabrics are amazing. She’s new and not a lot of brides come in and ask for her yet, but I think that will change because her styles are impeccable. She knows how to design both traditional and contemporary all in one and I think that will make her popular.
Andrea - Sareh’s collection fits with the rest of your selections beautifully. What do you look for when you select dresses to feature in your salon?
Renée - My salon is traditional. It’s princess, it’s glamor, it’s beauty. I look for dresses that are the highest quality available that will make brides feel beautiful on their wedding day.
Andrea - I’ve worked with brides from coast to coast, but you’ve worked with brides from all over the world – is there anything that’s similar or that you find they all have in common? Are they all looking for the same thing?
Renée - Well yes and no. They all want the same thing in that they want to feel like a bride, but each and every woman has her own expression of what that means to her. That’s why my salon has so much variety. I love the power of the selection I’m able to provide. It has taken years to establish and build the relationships that I’ve developed, but I’m able to offer a very diverse selection and that means that very rarely people don’t find what they need here.
Andrea - I’ve seen your show, Brides of Beverly Hills. How has that changed your business?
Renée - Well I love the show – I have so much fun doing it. It’s really very satisfying and breaks up the strictly retail part of my business. And I do get recognized a lot more. That’s nice too!
Andrea - You’re a successful business owner and you have a TV show. That must keep you very busy. So what do you do to relax?
Renée - I treasure my interpersonal relationships and so I love to spend time with the people I’m closest to, people I can learn from. I have an amazing marriage and I’m so thankful for that and the wonderful family we have.
Andrea - Brides can often picture themselves walking down the aisle in a dress, but what about dancing in it all night? What do you tell brides to think about when it comes to selecting a gown for their whole event?
Renée - I always remind them about the celebration. Your wedding is YOUR moment to shine. The entire day is about you and you want to look stunning. You can dance in anything [trust me] so pick something you think you look amazing in. Your beauty will radiate from the inside out so your dress has to be something you absolutely love. I tell people it’s like finding a man – once you’ve found the right one you can stop looking.
Andrea - What advice do you have for brides who are just getting started planning their weddings?
Renée - Well I always let them know it’s extremely important to be organized! It’s a critical part of the equation. If they’re too busy – get someone to help. Hire a planner and go for it… And go shopping at the right place, of course! Your wedding gown will set the tone for the whole affair so make sure you go somewhere that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.
It was an immense pleasure to sit down and talk with Renée and I could have stayed all day. To tell you the truth she has such an amazing spirit that I kind of want to move in with her. My husband laughed when I told him that, but it’s true. It would be easy for Renée to be delegate her business tasks and be removed, but you can tell that she stays as involved as she does because of a genuine love for fashion, brides, weddings, and people in general. Anyone who has a chance to work with her is a very lucky person!