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  • Writer's pictureOUMA

Born and raised in Beijing, China, owner and designer Ou Ma grew up in an artistic environment. Watching her grandfather paint Chinese traditional paintings every day, Ma started to develop an eye for art and a taste for design.

‘I still remember the moment when I first watched Paris Couture Fashion Week - my heart was pumping so fast and I’ve never had that feeling before’, said Ma, ‘I was so amazed by the texture, the material, the beading, and especially what John Galiano did for Dior back then, every show was a story’. That was the moment Ma knew she wanted to be a fashion designer and it had never changed.

Ma’s grandfather’s painting practice made a huge impact on how Ma designs and interprets her inspiration. She likes to use the fabric, the draping, and the lace placement as her brush stroke to paint ‘rhythm’ onto the garment. Asymmetry and organic flow are huge design elements throughout her collections, in which the audience can see the cultural and art influence from her early years.

Graduated Summa Cum Laude at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Ma cut her teeth with the prestigious design team at Calvin Klein Made-to-Measure Atelier and, later, worked alongside the Reverend Mr. Ralph Lauren while on the design team at Ralph Lauren Women’s Collection. During her years at Ralph Lauren, Ma started to make custom bridal gowns for private clients, family, and friends. She found her joy in creating unique and one-of-a-kind dresses and felt fulfilled seeing her brides walking down the aisle in her designs.

After relocating to Vancouver, Canada and marrying her middle school sweetheart, Ma created her own label, where she has made over 150 custom dresses for brides over the past few years, including brides who ordered and fitted the dress completely online during the pandemic.

Boutique Name: Blush and Raven

Location: Calgary, Canada

Boutique owner: Liane Knox

In business since: 2017

How did you discover OUMA and what purpose does it fulfill for your brides?

Being from Vancouver, owner Liane Knox knew about OUMA when they were bespoke and direct to client. We kept a close eye on OUMA as they grew. When OUMA made the decision to stock in boutiques, we happily picked them up! OUMA gowns are perfect for the bride who wants to feel unique. They are for the bride who is not afraid to stand out and make a statement in a non-traditional way.

How do brides feel when putting on an OUMA dress?

Brides immediately feel the craftsmanship, the care, and the thought that is clearly put into every gown. They feel supported, comfortable & effortlessly beautiful in an OUMA gown.

Tell us something unique about your store:

Blush & Raven was named to represent both sides of a woman: the soft, subtle side & the strong, vivacious side. In everything we do at B&R, we encompass & celebrate the beauty in both.

Share your top 3 tips for bridal dress shopping

1. Make sure you're prepared for your appointment. It is so imporant to do some exploratory shopping and browsing to start to determine what styles and designers interest you!

2. Bring your nearest & dearest. We know there's something special about having all your loved ones when you choose a gown, but we recommend limiting the number of people in your appointment. It is way easier to shop when you are only navigating a couple opinions! We recommend bringing only one or two people whose opinions you really value to maximize your experience.

3. Trust your gut, and your stylist! At the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone. Trust your gut instincts - they are usually right! Your stylist is there to help you through your bridal journey. Don't be afraid to lean on them and their expertise! They are your number one supporter during your appointment!

OUMA dresses at Blush and Raven:

Zephyr, Serena, Laurene, Gia, Gaia top and pant

  • Writer's pictureOUMA

Boutique Name: Honey Bridal

Location: Chicago, U.S.A

Boutique owner: Hallie Borden & Dana Karlov

In business since: 2017

Tell us something unique about your store:

We focus on independent designers who produce their gowns sustainably and ethically.

Your stylist's favorite OUMA dress and how do they style it?

Serena! We'd style her with a low, slicked back ponytail, cascading pearl hairpiece, and low block heels.

How would you describe the OUMA brand? 

Epic, couture, and cool.

Share your top 3 tips for bridal dress shopping:

1: You don't have to participate in any tradition that doesn't feel right to you

2: Do more research upfront and try on fewer gowns

3: Ask your stylist to pick a "wildcard." Something totally different than what you've asked for, but that they think would look great on you.

OUMA dresses at Honey Bridal:

Ivy & cape, Hazel, Rowan, Serena, Zephyr mini & detachable skirt, Laurene, Selene, Adelina, Elena, Amanda.

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