Lorraine Love, an African American entrepreneur from St Paul, Minnesota, recently opened LaNoire Bridal, the first Black-owned bridal store in the entire state of Minnesota.
“I played around with a bunch of different names, and I thought what does Black mean in other languages and that’s when I came across La Noire. And I thought that’s beautiful,” Love said in an interview with Fox 9 Minneapolis. “And also realizing that, when I was doing my research that we didn’t have any Black-owned bridal shops here in Minnesota so that was another driver to me being in this field right now,”
That’s why Love stepped forward to open the LaNoire Bridal store in May 2022, hoping to make all brides feel welcome and at ease. Love stated that she ensures that every bride is confident in expressing her true self in the gown she will wear on her very special day.
Love has sold about 30 bridal gowns in the six months since she opened the bridal shop. Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez of Richfield, Minnesota, was one of her first clients, and she said she had an amazing experience with her friends and mother-in-law when she went to fit gowns at the store.
“I think the wedding industry caters to making women feel like they need to fit a certain mold, and it can be really uncomfortable,” Gonzalez said, noting that she is thankful to LaNoire Bridal for making her feel comfortable and empowering her to represent her culture through her dress.
LaNoire Bridal currently employs over ten designers who create a wide range of styles for brides of all shapes and sizes. They also offer customizations for those looking for a one-of-a-kind gown.
“It was really important for me not only to seek out black designers but also designers that would cater to a diverse group of individuals,” said Love.
LaNoire Bridal also provides gowns for bridesmaids and mothers-of-the-bride. Love hopes to open a LaNoire Bridal store in every state in the future.