Andrea Pitter has vowed to bring inclusivity into the bridal industry—one stitch at a time. “For a long time there was only one type of bride showcased, and I definitely wanted to figure out how to change that. We need to be inclusive in size, inclusive in religion, and inclusive in race. I’m grateful that I feel like the industry is changing. It’s just taking some time,” the owner of Pantora Bridal tells BET Style exclusively.
With countless blushing brides on her brand’s Instagram timeline, we think she’s making a difference in the lives of those she dresses on their big day. “I’ve let it be known that I advocate for people who feel like they’ve been excluded. When I started Pantora Bridal, my focus was on Black women—and it still is,” the Fashion Institute of Technology graduate adds. “I feel like I’m beginning to shatter some glass ceilings and open doors for other designers. I’m really grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had and the awkward spaces that I’ve been able to show up in.”
As one of the leading designers in the Black bridal industry, we were quite privileged to chat with the fashion pioneer. The conversation was even more special keeping in mind that Pitter was fresh off her win on the popular Amazon competition series Making the Cut. “I won! It feels good to not have given up because it was hard,” she excitedly announced via our Zoom call before the season 2 finale appeared on Friday.
It was quite evident that Pitter was on cloud nine after winning not only $1 million dollars to invest in her business, but also support/mentorship from Amazon Fashion and a new store.
During our chat, the New York City-based fashion designer revealed to us her initial plans for taking her business to the next level. “I won a store in LA. So I’m gonna be getting the store ready for what I hope is an end of August or early September opening. I really want to focus on hiring so I can provide as many opportunities as I can,” she tells us.
The busy mom also revealed that she still needs time to let it all sink in. “I know for a fact that I want to take a few days to kind of just sit back and realize all of the things that have happened. I think I need a moment to soak it all up,” she playfully adds. “I really want to make sure that I put a claim on what Pantora Bridal is and all the things that I said it would be when I opened at 23. It’s just about making sure that everything that was a dream of mine, I get to turn into reality.”
Pivoting to ready-to-wear fashion with the launch of her Pantora brand, Pitter offers this advice to fellow Black designers that want to follow in her footsteps, “You’re gonna end up in a lot of spaces where you were the only, and that’s okay. It’s not okay for it to be the only one in the space, but it is okay for you to show up anyway. Design the way that you want to design, and don’t change what it is that you do. Do it the way you do it because in the fashion industry there is space and there is a possibility.”
To learn more about Andrea Pitter and her flourishing businesses, visit her Instagram.
(Photo: Akiva Griffith/Amazon Studios)