Some of Katerina Bocci’s dresses hang in the office space  of Katerina Bocci Designs in Shelby Township.

Some of Katerina Bocci’s dresses hang in the office space of Katerina Bocci Designs in Shelby Township.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Shelby bridal designer releases 2020 collection, featured in New York

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published October 7, 2019

 Katerina Bocci, who is a bridal dress designer, stands with the dress she designed for her daughter at her store in Shelby Township. She recently released her 2020 collection, which was a part of New York bridal fashion week Oct. 6-8 in New York City.

Katerina Bocci, who is a bridal dress designer, stands with the dress she designed for her daughter at her store in Shelby Township. She recently released her 2020 collection, which was a part of New York bridal fashion week Oct. 6-8 in New York City.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A Shelby Township couture bridal designer is releasing her brand-new designs to the public after debuting her dresses Oct. 6-8 in New York City.

Katerina Bocci, of Shelby Township, launched her 2020 collection of designer wedding gowns across the globe. Her 2020 collection features 15 luxurious gowns.

“I created this collection focused on a woman’s strength, individuality and grace,” Bocci said in a prepared statement.

Bocci was born in Albania and educated in Italy, where much of her inspiration stems from. She said she gained a lot of inspiration for the dresses from traveling the world recently.

“This past year I have been traveling to England and Italy, and went back to my roots, and the churches and buildings and these places inspired me — the architecture and the Old World,” she said in a phone interview.

She began designing dresses in Italy at 21 years old before coming to America. She released her first collection 12 years ago.

Every year, Bocci releases one collection in October. According to a press release, Bocci’s 2020 collection “features Bocci’s signature ultra-feminine silhouettes, including flowing sheaths, figure-flattering fit-to-flare shapes, mermaid gowns with detachable trains, A-line skirts and show-stopping ball gowns that come to life with every step. Opulent finishes, including hand-designed embroidery and impeccable hand beading, create innovative textures throughout the collection.”

Bocci said each dress is designed differently, and with 15 dresses it can take anywhere between 40 and 400 hours per dress.

“I have a great structure. There’s a whole chain, and each team member has their own importance, and my daughter, Lela, is part of the business,” she said.

She said the dresses that are showcased at the New York bridal fashion week are different from those that customers will get to see in stores, as they can be customized to the customers’ desires.

The dresses were available for preview in New York Oct. 6-8 at The Knot Couture Show.

“For our brides that come to our store in Michigan (in Shelby Township), the dress is customized to each bride and cut and designed for their body shape, personality, wedding type ... how they want it. No matter the type of wedding. When we launch our collection (in New York), it’s a little different and harder to customize because we don’t get to see the customer. If they come directly to us, they can customize their dress,” she said.

Bocci’s gowns are designed, sewn and produced at her Michigan-based studio in Shelby Township. She said she personally oversees the production of each and every gown to ensure the quality.

She said her favorite detail in her dresses is the embroidery and getting to choose where it goes together with the body.

“It’s very versatile,” she said.

Bocci said she first found that she wanted to be a bridal designer when she realized this was something she loved to do and could see herself doing as a job.

She said the approximate price range of her dresses is between $3,500 and $7,000, and in-house dresses cost $5,000 and up.

Rhonda Walker, an anchor for WDIV Local 4, had Bocci design her wedding dress recently and shared her thoughts.

“She created a lovely couture gown for me that fit my taste and style and look I wanted for my special day,” she said via email.

Kathleen Ferris, who provides public relations for Bocci, said she had Bocci make her gown too.

“I’m sitting next to a picture from my 2010 wedding in Kauai. Katerina made my gown. I think I may have been her first bride — at least among the first — because she was designing eveningwear when we met in 2009,” Ferris said via email.

“She’s amazing!” she said.

Bocci said she is thankful for all her clients and she can’t wait to make more dresses.

“It might seem like it’s expensive in the beginning, but it’s altered and custom to their body, so it’s worth it. You can buy a dress for $4,000, but you will end up paying a lot more, and it’s not custom to their body. We just want women to know we are not cookie-cutter, and we try to bring the best quality of dresses, and we want them to know we are different than bridal salons. I am very traditional and I love to support our economy,” she said.

For more information, call (586) 247-3622 or visit www.katerinaboccibridal.com.

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