An Interview with Haitian Bridal Wear Designer Jean-Ralph Thurin

Get inside the mind of a bridal gown designer and explore the HUExJRT lace collection

One of my new obsession is wedding gown design. As you guys know, I was recently a bridesmaid and had the pleasure of looking at wedding gowns for the big day. We all seen the show "Say Yes to the Dress," right? Well, that's one of my favorite shows. Happy brides-to-be shopping for their perfect dress. While I've seen budgets from $1,000 to $10,000 (whoa momma), we can all agree the fun is trying on the dresses.

Not long ago, I was on Instagram scrolling through my feed looking and searching for nothing in particular and just as I was about to log off, I stumbled on the picture above. They're so many things about this picture that screams ELEGANT AND BEAUTY and I love it all. I can point out the beautiful models and the mixture of melanin in the picture or the feminine elegant gowns. One thing I noticed right away, is the nude-lace design. Perfect for the look of wearing -  nothing underneath your wedding gown. Of course, I hit the 'like button,' but I wanted more. I wanted to see and learn more about the designer. I wanted, well to see what else he had to offered and that's how I landed on Mr. Jean Ralph Thurin's Instagram page followed to his website.

Ladies, If you haven't heard of Mr. Thurin's name before, it's about time you do, and you might want to save this post for what I'm about to show you.

HUExJRT Collection, Mermaid-Styled Dress by Jean-Ralph Thurin

Mr. Thurin is no stranger to fashion and designing. A graduate of the prestigious Parsons School of Design and his beautiful designs have appeared on numerous magazines and bridal news sources such as The Knot, The New York Times, Inside NJ Magazine and NJ Bride. Pretty awesome right? I mean seriously, who wouldn't want a custom designed dress for their big day? We all know that's what everyone wants to see, how you look walking down the aisle or entering the reception hall.  

The beautiful shaq_will and bride tribe in a memaid styled Jean-Ralph Thurin gown

The HUExJRT collection was birthed while Mr. Thurin was designing a gown for the beautiful @Shaq_Will (pictured above) for her big day. This mermaid-styled wedding gown is perfect for the curvylicious bride who is not afraid to accentuate her figure. (Photo Credit: @bypetronella).

Whether you're a small to curvy-plus, this style may just be the best fit.

So who is the genius behind HUExJRT, Mr. Jean-Ralph Thurin.

"Born in New York to Haitian immigrant parents, Thurin began sketching women in flowing dresses at a tender age. Soon he learned to sew by watching his grandmother. As a teenager, and without any formal training, he fulfilled multiple requests to make classmates’ prom dresses. So it came as no surprise when he excelled at the Parsons School of Design where he was influenced by the styles of the top haute-couture houses: Dior, Givenchy and Chanel."  Susan

Mr. Thurin was gracious enough to answer some of my burning questions about his style and designs.

Bridal gown with long veil. A JRTBride by designer Thurin

1. How and when did you start out in fashion design and bridal wear?

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to design beautiful dresses. Growing up, I learned to sew by watching my grandmother and then received formal training at Parsons School of Design. In school, I became enthralled by the fashion history of top haute couture Houses of Dior, Givenchy and Chanel so my love for couture evolved into making custom wedding gowns detailed to tell each bride's unique story.

Jean-Ralph Thurin

2. Where are you from? Who is Mr. Jean Ralph Thurin?

I was born in Manhattan, NYC but come from a proud Haitian-American background. Besides being a passionate and dedicated full-time designer - I am a father of 2 beautiful girls and married to my high-school sweetheart.

3. What or who is your influence for the HUExJRT collection?

Our beautiful past #JRTBride Shaq Robotham truly influenced the HUExJRT collection. She came in knowing exactly what she wanted - a beautiful mermaid gown with cross-hatch lace and a nude underlay to give her that perfect see-through effect. Working with her on her custom dress was one of the best experiences I have ever had as a designer, seeing her vision come to life one fitting after the next. We truly came together to create something magical for her big day. After Shaq's wedding, many women began inquiring about her style of dress... hence the HUExJRT collection.

HUExJRT nude collection by haute couture designer Jean-Ralph Thurin

4. Do you have a personal favorite gown style?

My personal favorite gown style is definitely mermaid style dresses!

Bridal designer gown store in New Jersey and servicing nationwide.

5. What is your biggest challenges in designing a wedding gown? 

I would say that my biggest challenge is really pushing myself to find the perfect silhouette to fit each unique and individual bride.

6. Describe your “ideal” bride?

My ideal bride is one who is open-minded, a bride that isn't afraid to trust the custom process. I know that it can be scary, not seeing your completed dress until close to your actual wedding date - but when bride's allow me to make their vision come true, they're truly grateful for the process and the bond that is formed between I and them. Once a JRTBride, always a JRTBride.

7. Where do you seek your inspiration or muse when designing a wedding gown?

Oftentimes I seek my inspiration from architecture and buildings. I really love structural lines and patterns, but each collection really requires new inspiration. For example, I had a whole line that was inspired by James Bond films and another solely inspired by Marie Antoinette and the Palace of Versailles.

JRTBride, Wedding Gown Designer

8. Do you have a favorite quote or affirmation you tell yourself?

This may sound funny but I tell myself that I am the "bride-whisperer" (haha). I pride myself on being a good listener and I think that really helps when I sit down with brides - being able to take the time out and hear what it is that would make them happiest on their big day.

9. What do you like to do on your “off time?”

I am the biggest movie binge-watcher! I cannot get enough of James Bond or Marvel superhero films. I also am definitely a foodie, if there are any good restaurants around you can sign me up!

Haitian Bridal Gown Designer Thurin in New Jersey Office

10. Social Media have done a lot for as far as showcasing the Haitian culture to the world, do you have a Haitian designer or artist you think we should check out?

Stella Jean is an amazing fashion designer, also of a Haitian background.

11. What are your plans for the future of your luxury line?

I really just want to continue pushing myself as a designer to make new and innovative collections that will reach larger demographics of brides.

JRTBride by Bridal Fashion Designer Thurin, High-Split Wedding Dress

12. Do you have any advice for the bride-to-be looking that special dress? 

Don't sacrifice the vision of your dream dress. On your wedding day, people aren't coming to primarily see flowers or candles, all eyes will be on you so you want to make sure that you look absolutely flawless - the way you have always envisioned.

13. Have you thought about opening another location in a different state?

No, but I am working with different stockists to have our dresses finally be available in different states!

14. You’re in NJ, how can a bride-to-be in sunny south Florida connect with you?

I work with a large number of out-of-state brides and am always looking for amazing new clients! You can contact us at and we'd be more than happy to schedule you for either an in-person consultation or a virtual consultation over the phone!

New Jersey bridal store

14 Davenport St, Somerville, NJ 08876
Ph: (908) 722-2218

There you have it, a beautiful collection by a talented designer. I see a bright future ahead for Mr. Thurin and his designs and I wish him the very best success. I'm always proud when I see my Haitian people doing big things, but when I see a Haitian bridal designer doing HUGE things, well it's cause for celebration.

Share this post with a bride-to-be. You may have just helped her find that perfect wedding gown designer.

Photo Credits:

Designer: @jeanralphthurin
Photographer: @islandboiphotography
Creative Direction: @mlocke523

Bride: @shaq_will
Bridesmaids Dresses: @whiterunway
Bridal Styling: @vaingloriousbrides
Photography: @bypetronella
Hair: @nicky_b_on_hair

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