From “Project Runway” To Wedding Aisle: Meet Laurie Underwood of Laury Bride

From “Project Runway” To Wedding Aisle: Meet Laurie Underwood of Laury Bride
Credit: Provided courtesy of Laury Bride.

“Project Runway” alum Laurie Underwood is the designer behind Laury Bride, a custom and ready-to-wear bridalwear line. Before going all in on designing for brides, Laurie produced chic women’s workwear under her Wanda Grace label. Though wedding gowns were Laurie’s passion, landing her first bride gave her the confidence to focus on bridal. “I realized that if someone believed in me for their big day, I should, in turn, believe in myself to build a business out of what I love,” Laurie said.

Credit: Provided courtesy of Laury Bride.

Several years in, Laurie continues to pour her heart into designing gowns that celebrate “the modern Black woman in her entirety, acknowledging her heritage, aspirations and unique essence.”

There’s another element to the designer’s atelier. Laurie’s experience planning her 2021 nuptials inspired her to create a luxe collection of robes, lounge sets and candles. After all the wedding planning, Laurie wanted to come home to a calm and luxurious space. Her vision became Laury Home. Read more in Laurie’s interview, where she shares insight and advice.

Credit: Provided courtesy of Laury Bride.

When did you discover your love of fashion?

I’ve always been interested in fashion since the age of 9. I started my previous line, Wanda Grace, which was a fashion label, and in 2015, I ended it to begin focusing on bridal wear.

At what point did you realize that you could start a business?

I realized this when I had my first bridal customer. I realized that if someone believed in me for their big day, I should, in turn, believe in myself to build a business out of what I love.

How do you define success for your creative business?

Success for my creative business is knowing who my customer is and never compromising on the quality and uniqueness of my bridal designs, ensuring that each piece reflects the beauty and individuality of the brides I serve.

Credit: Provided courtesy of Laury Bride.

Where do you find inspiration?

I actually find inspiration in fashion. I have a collection of fashion muses that I look to during my process as if I am designing wedding gowns for them.

What’s one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?

I’d say bet more on yourself. If you believe in you, so will others.

Credit: Provided courtesy of Laury Bride.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start selling their art or creative product?

Become a student of your craft and business, especially in marketing. There are tons of resources available for one to become a master student at what they love and make a lucrative business out of it.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I have a dual role as a bridal designer/entrepreneur and a marketer, in which I currently contract my marketing services out to a nonprofit business development center. I recently went from director of marketing to contractor so that I could focus more on building my business.

As creatives, we can continuously refine our art. How do you handle perfectionism?

Honestly, I’m not sure if I handle it well enough just yet. I am a true perfectionist, and if something does not go the way I envisioned it to go, it’s an automatic cut. I can’t say I’m working on that either, as I will always strive for perfection from my perspective.

What’s something that surprised you about running a creative business?

That I literally have to wear all the hats and do all the things. I receive tons of support from my husband, which I am more than grateful for. But even with genuine help, one would still have to try on and wear many hats within the business.

What advice would you give to someone about handling the highs and lows of running a business?

Stay resilient, celebrate all successes, and stay committed to your vision.

Credit: Provided courtesy of Laury Bride.

Has someone ever criticized your work? How did you handle it?

Absolutely. My work was criticized on national television while I was on “Project Runway” in 2015. I try to stay open-minded, reflect before reacting, gain clarity of their perspective, and make improvements in my work if I feel it’s necessary.

What’s a cause you are passionate about and why? Please list a link to a website where our audience can learn more about this cause.

I am passionate about closing the wealth gap for Black Americans. This passion has grown in my contract role with a business development center, where I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment in creating opportunities and bridging disparities.

Can you share the name of a supplier or vendor that you use for your business that you just love—one that makes running your business a bit easier?

I’d have to say Zapier. It allows me to create different automations in my business, allowing me to work on higher-priority items within my business.

What brings you joy?

My family brings me joy. My husband, our two daughters and our late son. Being with and thinking of them all brings me joy!

Thanks, Laurie! You can learn more about the designer’s brands at and

Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for length and style.

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