Andrea’s Vintage Bridal features classic gowns and a poodle

Credit: Nikolina Erickson-Gunther at Andrea's Vintage Bridal. Photo by Michelle Bruch

The mother-daughter team behind Andrea’s Vintage Bridal is enjoying the move to the high-traffic storefront at 2414 Hennepin Ave. Passersby often take notice of the shop’s poodle, Pierre, through the window.

“It’s very easy to nerd out here, because there are amazing dresses,” said Nikolina Erickson-Gunther. “Nobody has a collection like this. … We have everyone beat by 500 [dresses].”

Her mother Andrea Erickson has always worn vintage. So when she remarried in 2006, it was natural for her to buy a couple of vintage dresses to customize a new gown.

“Pretty soon I had 80 of them,” she said.

She loved the high-quality fabrication of the vintage dresses she collected, which range from the 1930s-80s.

Erickson-Gunther explained that many of the shop’s dresses were either made at home or constructed precisely to the buyer’s measurements by garment workers paid living wages.

“The market has shifted now, and they are primarily made in China,” she said.

Decades ago, dresses were made of natural fabrics that were lighter, more ethereal and didn’t require assistance to visit the bathroom, she said — a contrast to the heavy dresses in fashion today.

The women catalog the story behind each dress, often telling stories of long marriages and dresses saved for granddaughters.

The shop only takes single appointments at a time, and brides try on dresses in a fitting room lined with vintage mirrors and furniture.

Erickson said she places supreme importance on customer service. She had a difficult experience shopping for a plus-size dress, she said, and she knows there is a gap in the market.

“We really want them to feel special, and we really want them to shine,” Erickson-Gunther said.

The shop also carries vintage jewelry and accessories.

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