Cover Photo: Nicole + Felicia

Meet the sisters behind the Taiwanese bridal brand loved by Kim Lim, Cherie Chan and more

Forbes once compared Nicole and Felicia Chang to the Olsen twins. Sure, the two are young, petite sisters who founded their own fashion business and dress some of the world’s wealthiest women, but that’s where the comparison ends.

Unlike the Olsens’ monastic and subdued minimalism at The Row, the Changs create gowns that wow. Their bridal and eveningwear designs for their Taiwan-based fashion brand, Nicole + Felicia, are often decadent affairs bursting with fabric and heavily adorned with hand-stitched embellishments. These are dresses that take up real estate on the red carpet, as Chrissy Teigen recently demonstrated at the Grammys.

Read more: Billionaire Heiress Kim Lim’s Wedding Solemnisation Was a Flower-Filled Fantasy

It's that extravagance that has led Nicole + Felicia’s signature tulle ballgowns to fill up ample aisles at weddings, both real and imagined (see: Taylor Swift’s I Bet You Think About Me music video).

Kim Lim wore one of their dreamy dresses in her wedding portraits. Chloe Ng, too, chose a captivating Nicole + Felicia gown that came with a silk flower train and required the assistance of a two-person team. And how can we forget Bling Empire star Cherie Chan, who had the mother of all trains at her secret wedding at the Château de Saran castle in France?

Dressing brides is no easy feat—they demand nothing less than perfection on their wedding day, after all. But the Changs had a head start in the business thanks to their family, who owns the Taipei-based wedding gown company, Senasia.

With their own fashion brand, the sisters are making a name for themselves. Below, they tell us what it takes to be in the business of making dreams come true.

What did you two do before starting Nicole + Felicia?

Nicole Chang (NC) and Felicia Chang (FC): Our family has been in the bridal industry for over 25 years. We design and produce for international brands such as Pronovias and Viktor & Rolf, as well as operate a luxury bridal boutique here in Taipei. Both of us studied business at UC Berkeley, in the hopes that one day we become entrepreneurs too. After launching Nicole + Felicia in 2015, we now have two flagship stores—the first at Regent Galleria Taipei, and the newest in the Peninsula Shanghai.

What made you two decide to start your own brand?

NC and FC: The love and appreciation for fashion has been instilled in us ever since we were young. After many years of interning at our family’s company, we felt the need to branch out and create a label that was completely our own. The goal was to create a brand that breathes new life into the bridal market here in Asia.

What are your different roles in the company?

NC: As the Creative Director of Nicole + Felicia, my main focus is the artistic and marketing side of the company.

FC: I oversee the finance and production side of the brand, and ensure that the quality of each garment is up to our standards.

What makes Nicole + Felicia different from other bridal fashion brands?

NC and FC: Our collections are very much design-driven. Instead of following traditional bridal fashion, we like to explore bold silhouettes and new fabrications. Another strength is our ability to achieve complex beadwork and embellishment designs.

You created a wedding dress for Chloe Ng, who got married this year. Can you share more about the process of creating her gown?

NC: Chloe Ng selected one of our key styles from the Spring/Summer 2022 Bridal Collection. For the past few seasons, we have seen brides embrace high-shine fabrics such as silks and mikados. We love the luxurious hand feel and lustre, and it pairs beautifully with both beading and lace.

Read more: Socialite Chloe Ng Marries Beau Sherman Tan in Sparkling Society Wedding

What about Cherie Chan, who also wore a custom Nicole + Felicia gown for her wedding?

NC: Cherie had a very clear vision for her custom gown and it cohered with our designs seamlessly. She wanted a sculptural tulle ballgown with an extra-long train, and a butterfly element to honour her late mother. We create an abstract butterfly shape at the front of the bodice, which grew and transformed into a three-tiered train that measures over 10 feet. To complete the dreamy ensemble, we paired it with an equally long veil that was embellished with Swarovski crystals and hand-sewn feather appliques.

How much time did it take to make Cherie’s wedding dress? And was its train the longest you’ve ever created?

NC: Cherie’s gown took three months from start to finish. We were in constant communication which definitely helped to expedite the design process. Her custom gown features the longest train we have ever made and it took over 400 yards of tulle to accomplish.

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Which celebrity were you excited to see in your designs? And who do you hope to see wearing them in future?

NC: We just dressed Chrissy Teigen for the Grammy’s, which was definitely a highlight of this season! Beyonce is at the top of my wishlist for future red carpets.

FC: I would love to dress Jessica Chastain for a movie premiere or film festival.

Chrissy Teigen wore a look from your Fall/Winter 2022 collection. What was the inspiration for the collection?

NC: For this season, we introduced vibrant taffeta fabrics to the collection. It allowed us to create voluminous and sculptural shapes while keeping the gown light and easy to walk in. 

Read more: Grammys 2022: Best Dressed Asian Celebrities on the Red Carpet

What is a standout design from the collection?

NC: The standout design is the gold taffeta off-the-shoulder ballgown. We found this incredible fabric with a beautiful metallic sheen; it is light yet still has enough body to create dramatic volume. The fabric has a really interesting crinkle effect and to highlight that, we created irregular pleats by smocking the fabric first, and then ironing the folds so that it holds its creases permanently.

Compared to previous seasons, the Fall/Winter 2022 collection is bursting with vibrant colours. Do you think your customers are embracing colour more than before?

NC: Yes absolutely! The brand started out with a focus on bridal, but our eveningwear line has grown exponentially therefore we have definitely been adding more colours to the range. Red carpet and event dressing certainly requires a wider variety of vibrant hues.

How did you manage to sustain your business through the pandemic? 

NC: During the pandemic the tempo definitely slowed down for us, but were able to launch a ready-to-wear diffusion line, Nicole By NF. This line features everyday staples and cocktail dresses that would be suitable for smaller events. Through the convenience of phones and video calls, we were still able to maintain a steady stream of VIP clients across the globe.

What are some bridal fashion trends that have emerged recently, especially during the pandemic?

NC: We actually have not seen a significant shift in bridal fashion trends due to the pandemic. Instead of adjusting to Covid regulations, most of our clients have postponed their wedding until they are able to host large events again. I think since a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, brides still prefer to have the grand ballgown they have always dreamed of!

How do you think Asian customers differ from those in the West in terms of what they look for in their wedding gowns?

NC: Asian brides are always looking for the most extravagant and voluminous ballgowns. Long trains and dramatic silhouettes are the most popular amongst our clients.

You’ve recently launched a kaftan collection. Are you hoping to target a new customer, specifically those who shop for modest fashion?

NC: Over the last two years we have really expanded our client base and brand presence in the Middle East, therefore we wanted to create a capsule collection that’s tailored to their dressing needs. The collection is still very much fashion-driven; therefore it would be perfectly suited for clients wishing for contemporary yet modest designs.

What’s next for the brand? How do you hope to expand your business in the coming years?

NC: Our main goal is to enter retail stores in both North America and the Middle East.

Finally, what do you both do when you have time off?

NC: Going to the gym to work out has always been one of the most important parts of my self-care routine.

FC: Horseback riding! I used to ride competitively in my teens and early 20s, and now it is still my favourite recreational sport.

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