Wedding dress costs may rise due to trade war with China

Local wedding dress industry prepares for silk tariff
Posted at 4:33 PM, Oct 07, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The local wedding dress industry is preparing for a tariff on imported silk which could increase wedding dress prices. As the trade war between China and the U.S. heats up, President Donald Trump plans on imposing 10% tariffs on $300-billion worth of Chinese goods, including silk.

Ashley Gootee is a dress designer and alterations specialist who started her company, Something You Couture. She said the bridal industry uses a lot of silk, and the majority of it is ordered from China.

"I deal with what the customer wants, so if they want silk from China I'm going to have to tell them, 'Hey because this is custom and with all the tariffs and everything, the cost is going to be more,'" Gootee said.

Every designer is handling it differently. Some will eat the additional cost, while others will increase dress prices. Gootee said she will look to other places to buy silk, and she'll try to use other fabrics if possible.

"No one knows exactly what's going to happen," Gootee said, "I think that we're going to have to stop relying on China for all of our sourcing, production, all of that."

Some wedding dress shops are already warning customers about the tariffs too. As a custom gown maker, Ashley has more flexibility. "I can price everything out for you, and give you options, but at the end of the day, for my clients, it's their decision," Gootee said, "Where some other retailers it's not."

President Donald Trump delayed the new tariffs to December 15th due to concerns related to holiday shopping. Trade talks are expected to start back up with China later this week.