When they founded The White Room earlier this year, owners Anne McNulty and Carmen Duerr set out to create something unique in the world of Twin Cities bridal: a shop specializing in a fashion-forward selection of wedding gowns from lesser-known, high-end designers. After months of working out of temporary spaces, the pair has finally found a permanent space in downtown Minneapolis.
Located on the sixth floor of the Sexton Lofts, the showroom features the hallmarks of contemporary, urban style: high ceilings, raw brick walls, and exposed metal girders. McNulty compares its minimalist feel and tucked-away location to many of the bridal showrooms she’s seen in New York City. “It seems unconventional at first, calling in at the front of the building to be let up,” she says. “But once you step in, it’s turns out to be a beautiful boutique.”
For now, the White Room is starting small, carrying only five bridal designers and one accessories line—each carefully selected. “You always hear about Vera Wang and Reem Acra, but we’re not trying to be the store that carries name brands,” McNulty says. “We wanted to bring in something different from other bridal boutiques in town.”
They include Spanish lines Yolan Cris and Rosa Clara; the old-Hollywood glamour of Australian designer Johanna Johnson; fashion-forward, bohemian-styled New York brand Houghton; up-and-coming Minnesota designer Caroline Hayden; and Jennifer Behr Accessories.
The White Room is a small operation, with both McNulty and Duerr handling all the day-to-day operations. McNulty works on the marketing aspects of the business, while Duerr—who has more than 20 years of experience as a seamstress—does the alterations for the gowns and focuses on customer relations. Accordingly, the experience of gown shopping there is decidedly intimate. “Even though it’s a little more untraditional, it just feels right for us,” McNulty says. “We want our brides to feel really special—that all the attention is on them.”
The White Room
521 S. Seventh St. #624, Mpls.