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Qipaos are underrepresented in the bridal market. This brand wants to change that.



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Outside of honoring their heritage, it’s no wonder Chinese brides in the Western world wear qipaos for at least part of their wedding day: It’s hard not to look gorgeous in one.

the Qipao, which is also known as a cheongsam, has plenty of distinctive and striking details: a body-hugging silhouette, an elegant mandarin collar and silk embroidered with everything from golden dragon and phoenix symbols, to delicate peonies and butterflies. (To learn how to rock a sheath dress, watch Maggie Cheung rambles moodily In one of Wong Kar Wai’s classics “In The Mood For Love.”)

VCG Wilson/Corbis/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Portrait and illustration of women in traditional qipao dresses. Right, Maggie Cheung wears one in Wong Kar Wai’s classic “In The Mood For Love.”

As part of their wedding ceremony, many Chinese American brides wear their own qipao tea partyIt is a tradition in which the bride and groom offer tea to their families, especially the elderly, to express gratitude. The dress is always a vibrant red. (In Chinese culture, the color red symbolizes Happiness, prosperity and good luck.)


As great as this wedding tradition is, it’s not always easy to find a qipao that hits all the right marks for modern US brides.

When Jin Qiao’s wedding began in 2017, I faced the immediate challenge of finding the right dress.

“Although there are endless options when shopping for my white wedding dress, I was shocked that there were no options for a modern Chinese qipao,” Qiao, who lives in Southern California, told HuffPost.

“I tried the local stores in Chinatown for the first time, where the selections were very traditional and very limited, and language barriers made it hard to describe what I was looking for,” she explained. “When I looked online, the only websites offering wedding qipaos were of questionable quality and nonexistent customer service.”

Disappointed with the experience, Qiao and her best friend (bridesmaid) Vivian Chan decided to launch their own brand – East meets dress code – For brides looking for their dream qipao. (They also sell accident Vietnamese weeding dresses – the áo dài―and Men’s suits.)


Their goal is to bring more Asian American representation and inclusion into the traditional wedding industry while also emphasizing quality craftsmanship and some modern design offerings.

East meets dress code is part of a growing number of Asian American owned businesses and designers modernizing traditional designs for diaspora communities.

Dawanga Chinese-American streetwear company based in New York that sells Qipao-inspired tops and mini dresses (among other things), has doubled its sales every year since launching in 2019, The company told NBC News recently.

Vietnamese-American fashion designer Thai Nguyen Designs A la carte ao dàis It can fit for weddings and red carpets. (“Star Wars” actress) Kelly Marie Tran honored her Vietnamese roots By wearing one of Nguyen’s áo dàis to the Academy Awards in 2022.)

Qiao of East Meets Dress is proud to be part of this trend.


“Growing up in the United States, we were constantly moving between two cultures and always wanted to create something that would help bridge the gap between those two identities,” Qiao said.

Brides can choose from flowing qipao-inspired suits:

Or ultra-dramatic chepaques with a romantic sheer lace back:

There are also a lot of qipaos of a variety of traditional sheaths:

trade mark bespoke set It gives customers an opportunity to custom design their dresses. Qiao said it’s very important to her and her co-founder that brides of all sizes be able to get the right qipao.

“Traditionally, qipaos are very restrictive and are often made for a specific petite body type, but when we started East Meets Dress, we felt strongly from the beginning that all brides should have the opportunity to wear a qipao dress and feel comfortable,” said Qiao.

Qiao and Chan recently teamed up with plus-size model Kathryn Lee on a new collection of more inclusive clothing designs, giving the brand an opportunity to showcase more representation of body types on their website. (for me Minnie wore lace At her Chinese-Filipino wedding.)

Plus-size model Kathryn Lee creates an oriental-meets-qipao dress.
Plus-size model Kathryn Lee creates an oriental-meets-qipao dress.

To date, the small company has sold more than 10,000 bridal gowns in the United States and abroad. The next goal is to expand their collection to include more Asian cultures, a line of casual cheongsams, Lunar New Year designs and children’s wear.

Customers—including teens proudly wearing dresses to graduation—have written in, Qiao said, sharing how the brand’s missions and designs meant to them.


“We love how we’ve been able to help brides-to-be not only celebrate their culture in their own style, but also high school students and adoptees find a qipao to wear to a prom, birthday, or special event,” she said. “I think it reflects the growing pride that the younger generations have when it comes to their identity and their heritage.”

Scroll down for more wedding looks:

East meets dress code

East meets dress code

East meets dress code

East meets dress code

East meets dress code

East meets dress code

Erin Kim

Jin Qiao (left) and Vivian Chan make some final designs for the oriental dresses.

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