Bridget by Roma
Bridget Marquardt, television personality, formerly of E!'s "The Girls Next Door," has taken her passion for Halloween to Roma Costume with the new line, "Bridget by Roma." Party & Paper Retailer was able to find out some details about her latest endeavor.
PPR: Why did you decide to do this and become involved with Roma Costumes?
BM: I used to design my own costumes growing up, and when I was at the (Playboy) Mansion there were lots of parties to make really elaborate, fun costumes for. I always thought it would be amazing to have my own costume line. This past fall I began talking to some of the people I know from the Halloween industry and considered working with a couple of different companies before deciding to go with Roma.
PPR: How did this partnership come to be, and what is your role in it in terms of design and execution?
BM: A mutual friend that introduced us and after the first meeting I knew I wanted to work with Roma. The energy was really good and it was clear that both Owner Sam Fard and I were after the same thing - creative, unique costumes in styles that have not been done before, costumes that girls will be excited and proud to wear like a designer brand.
I was absolutely involved in every step of the design and execution of each and every costume. I sat down with Sam and discussed every detail of how I would like the costume to be, the designer sketched it, then fabrics and trims that we discussed were brought in for my approval and a sample was made. I would try on the sample and make additional changes from there until finally we had a completed costume that was done just to my liking.
PPR: What is the inspiration behind the line?
BM: Most of the costumes are inspired by costumes that I designed for the parties at the Mansion. I originally made the mermaid costume, which I named "Fanta-Sea," for Kendra's luau themed birthday party. The sexy Hef costume, named the "Smoking Bachelor," was an outfit that I designed for Hef's birthday party. The USO girl costume was inspired by what I wore on Girls Next Door for my Fourth of July trapeze performance. A few of them, like French Maid, Ring Master and Sexy Nerd, are just costumes that I felt I had good, creative ideas and designs for.
I put my personal touch on every one of them, and I think it shows. I also went for a three-piece pattern in several of my costumes: each costume comes with a skirt/shorts bottom, an adjustable waist cincher and a separate sexy bra/top. I like this for my costumes because it gives you options. If you're feeling great and confident, you can wear it as a two-piece costume. If you're going to a more conservative party, you can wear the waist cincher. This will not only give you additional coverage, but it's also adjustable so it will pull you in, taking inches off and giving you a tiny little hour glass waist. I want girls to feel sexy and confident in my costumes.
PPR: How is the line different from the current offerings on the market?
BM: Although we all refer to them as "costumes," I think of them more as an "outfit" and spend a lot of time making sure every detail is perfect. Secondly, even though I may pick a costume that the market is already saturated with - like a schoolgirl or French maid - I make sure I put my own "Bridget" style to it. These are all costumes that I would wear or have worn to some of the most amazing parties in the world!
Finally, at least 90 percent of materials for all of Roma's costumes (including the "Bridget" line) are made in the U.S. That's something I'm very proud of and not too many other companies can boast about.
PPR: What was the response when you introduced the line at the Halloween & Party Expo?
BM: The response was amazing! People at the convention were really excited and there was definitely a lot of buzz. The line for autographs and photos was almost never-ending the entire time I was there. I think our line is something fresh and new and buyers are looking for that.
PPR: Do you expect this collaboration to last beyond a single season?
BM: Absolutely! Sam and I are already working on Season 2 and I have so many costume ideas written down that I could be designing for six seasons straight and counting. I've been posting on Twitter and Facebook and the excitement and demand from the fans is overwhelming. That is very exciting to me. I plan to promote them heavily in September and October to make sure every girl out there knows about them.
PPR: Do you have a favorite costume?
BM: Every time I design a costume, I put so much thought and detail into it that it becomes my favorite costume ever and I think I will never be able to out-do it. Then a new idea inspires me and suddenly that becomes my obsession and my favorite costume. So, I have lots of favorites but it is constantly evolving. Every one of the costumes in my line was my absolute favorite at one time.
PPR: What do you love most about costumes and the holiday?
BM: First off, I love to create and design. Designing a costume gives me the opportunity to be really creative with no limitations. Plus, I love the creepy side to Halloween. I love that it has a dark side. This is an aspect that I want to put into my costume line and I'm definitely going to be adding things like darker devil, zombie, etc.
I love Halloween and costumes because people really have fun with them. They get creative and they let their guard down for a night. It's all about candy, parties and dressing up...what isn't there to love about Halloween and wearing costumes?
By Abby Heugel, Managing Editor