An Interview with Brooklyn-Based Designer, Rebecca Schoneveld
“Are people going to trust me with their wedding dresses?”
To me, it was one of the silliest rhetorical questions Rebecca Schoneveld could ever ask. But like many successful entrepreneurs, it was that sense of humility that got the Brooklyn-based designer where she is now.
The flagship store was filled with genuine vibes. Industrial space with exposed metal beams, the boutique’s tough interior was brought to its knees by lush greenery. Whitewashed exposed brick, carefully selected furniture, and more importantly gorgeous gowns accessorized the shop. The perfect setting for an ethereal shopping experience, space–designed by Rebecca herself–complemented the young designer just as the right gown complements its bride.
Wearing a pair of wide leg pants and a gray tank, Rebecca sits comfortably on the bird printed bench for our chat. In the background reggae music plays forcing everyone inside to feel good. As a girl she’d dabbled in design when her mom did a trade with Rebecca’s ballet company. Her mother would design all of the costumes in exchange for her and her sister’s tuition. “I got to help make costumes, I’d be in the studio with her deciding how “Aurora’s” tutu should look and putting all the stones on the bodice and everything,” Rebecca says.
Like ballet, there’s an ease to Rebecca’s designs that only a trained dancer could execute. Tutus are transformed into tulle ball gowns, beautiful necklines capture the poise of the woman, and flowing skirts are made to move during the first dance. “My dresses are definitely inspired by how it moves on the body. When I’m working on a design I’ll drape the fabric over me and picture it three-dimensionally in an outdoor space on the bride,” Rebecca notes.
But when it comes to her design aesthetic, simplicity is key. “When something is overdone it makes me uncomfortable in a way, I’m not sure what it is,” she says, “I think, especially for a wedding dress, the dress should complement the woman who’s wearing it and she herself, it’s her personality and how she completes the look.” Offering customizable gowns for brides-to-be, Rebecca thinks of her pieces as the palette for the Schone girl to paint as she pleases.
“Even if she’s a really simple girl and her dress is all she’s doing and her hair is super simple but that’s who she is I want her to be herself. It’s your wedding, it’s this very authentic moment in your life, you’re coming very sincerely into a commitment, I feel like it shouldn’t be so distracted with all this pomp and circumstance,” she says.
And while she’s impressed by bridal houses like Houghton and Rue De Seine, it’s her divine authenticity that’s weaved throughout every piece and touches every bride she sits down with. Describing her bride as the intellectual, no fuss, sentimental woman who more than anything just wants to be the prettiest version of herself, Rebecca likes to ask her brides if their goal is to look at their wedding photos 15-20 years from now and feel the timelessness of Audrey Hepburn or the trend set of a 2016 social media maven.
Looking toward the future, Rebecca dreams of traveling the world to indulge in textiles from Mexico and be inspired by décor in places like Marrakech. As she prepares for the October debut of her 2017 collection and dances with the possibility of creating a bridal accessory line, complete with soft moto style jackets, Rebecca has a few vows she promises to honor.
“I vow to never be uncomfortable, meaning if I put something on and I don’t feel like myself I can’t leave the house, even if it’s cute. It’s not comfort in terms of the length of my skirt or the tightness of something, if I don’t feel like myself I don’t want to leave the house. I vow never to worry about my appearance too much. It has to be all about your inner glow. If you’re fussing about your face and your body, you’re doing it all wrong,” she declares.
If you’re ever in Brooklyn stop by Schone Bride and get swept away in American authenticity.
Imagery by AKI Photography and Rachel Gomez Photography