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The bridal shops that occupy Downtown Santa Ana’s Calle Cuatro bring nostalgia to many locals and are without a doubt huge staples to the city’s identity. With the pandemic, like most other small businesses, these shops have also struggled to remain open. 

Downtown Santa Ana Virtual Bridal & Quince Fashion Show

When: Sunday, March 21 at 2 p.m.
Link to watch: facebook.com/omarvallephotography

Ten different DTSA bridal shop owners have teamed up together, along with the Santa Ana Business Council, the Santa Ana Community Development Agency and with Omar Valle Photography to bring locals an authentic fashion show experience. Viewers can expect to view various dresses, gowns and suits, all vital to celebrating important cultural traditions such as quinceañeras. 

The quinceañera is a widely popular tradition in Hispanic culture, signifying the rite of passage of a young girl transitioning into womanhood at 15 years of age. DTSA’s Calle Quatro corridor, or 4th Street, has been home to dozens of bridal shops each specializing in intricate, poofy dresses made especially for young girls on the day of their quinceañera. It’s safe to say it’s Orange County’s hub for the quinceañera industry.

Omar Valle, a professional wedding and quinceañera photographer who will be capturing Sunday’s event, said this fashion show is important for his industry since it has been hit extremely hard by COVID-19. Postponed parties led to many of the Calle Cuatro businesses shutting down for months.

So maybe you’ve got a younger sibling or cousin who’s on the hunt for the perfect quinceañera dress? Perhaps you’ve got a friend in need of a dress or suit for an upcoming wedding? The virtual fashion show is an opportunity for them to get a glimpse at what these humble business owners have to offer. Many of these shops also specialize in other events like prom, baptisms and communions. 

Owners of these shops hope to support the spirit of important festivities like quinceañeras and weddings, as well as bring attention to their own businesses during a time when these typical grandiose celebrations are not occurring.

“It’s crucial for us because this is our business, our bread and butter. Without customers we are nothing,” said Valle about the importance of the fashion show event.

Business has slowed down; however these resilient shops have adjusted each in their own way. Shops like Creaciones Alejandra Bridal and Cassandra’s Bridal have even started making masks to sell to their community.

Shops participating in this Sunday’s virtual fashion show include:  

Crystal Henriquez is an intern for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC. She can be reached at crystalh774@gmail.com.

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