New bridal wear label SOTO is reimagining the wedding dress for brides looking for unconventional silhouettes for their big day.
Created by the husband-and-wife duo Enrique and Boni Soto and heavily inspired by the cofounders’ Latinx roots, the brand crafts fashion-forward bridal pieces that evoke passion and a sense of romantic rebellion. Its inaugural range, dubbed the Unbridled Collection, offers five different designs that speak to brides with strong personalities and a keen eye for style. “The Wanderer,” a keyhole-style jumpsuit, is understatedly sensual, while “The Provocateur,” a creamy, ruffled gown with detachable sleeves adorned with exaggerated ties, is fit for a modern bride. The perfect dresses to elope in, “The Nighthawk” is a long-sleeved, pleated gown that features a strategic slit and a plunging V-neck, while “The Freespirit” is a cross-back silk slip that comes with a cape-like, matching robe. The final look in the collection, called “The Architect,” is a two-piece ensemble made up of a corset top and flowy bottoms, making it especially ideal for afterparties.
As the collection becomes available for pre-order, HYPEBAE talks to the couple behind SOTO to learn about their story and what defines their ethos.
Talk to us about your background and what prompted you to create your own bridal wear brand.
Even before we got married, we were both passionate about design, with Boni graduating from an arts and fashion program and spending time at Valentino in Florence, and Enrique pursuing a career as an entrepreneur. But the real seed for SOTO was planted after we got engaged, and started searching for a dress that reflected who Boni was and what we aspired to be. In short, we couldn’t find it. So Boni made her own — the very first SOTO dress. Completely handmade, and infused with an ethos that felt true to her.
When the pandemic hit, we were living in Toronto, and that initial spark for SOTO came alive again. In the span of a few months under lockdown, we designed the first collection, moved back to Mexico where Boni grew up to find the right team of craftspeople to produce it, and SOTO became something more than just our wedding dress.
How would you describe the overall aesthetic of your designs?
SOTO’s bridal wear is fuelled by the spirit of the Mexican and Colombian cultures we grew up in: fierce, passionate, independent. We wanted to create versatile bridal designs that channel that energy for the modern bride, evoking old world romance and new world rebellion with striking, minimal silhouettes that make space for brides to bring their personalities to the forefront, and not some traditional image of what a bride is supposed to look like.
What serves as inspiration for the Unbridled Collection?
To us, the wedding industry has become too nice and safe, too neat and tidy — nothing like the passion and intense emotion we felt approaching our wedding day. The Unbridled Collection is inspired by the need to break those stigmas and conventions, and capture the unbridled emotion of romance for weddings outside the norm. For brides free to be themselves. For brides, unbridled.
Amid the pandemic when weddings are forced to be kept small and low-key, have you noticed a shift in customer preferences when it comes to wedding dresses?
We definitely think the pandemic has changed how people are approaching their weddings. With traditional ceremonies often impossible, brides are feeling more free to express themselves with their dresses, and less concerned with the social expectations that often come with planning a wedding.
How do you see SOTO grow as a brand in the next few years?
We want SOTO to be the first brand that brides turn to for something new, fresh and different. Something that empowers them to defy expectations and reflect their true personality on their wedding day and beyond. Though our roots are in Mexico and Colombia, in the years to come, we want to reach brides around the world.