This Insider-Favorite Bridal Designer Never Intended to Make Wedding Dresses

Patricia Voto started her brand One Of to bring the luxury of custom design to everyday life. Then the brides came calling.

bridal designer patricia voto stands in her studio with a bride while evaluating her outfit
(Image credit: Courtesy Nikki Dasakalis; Jancarlo)

At first, a one-of-a-kind bridal moment was easier to imagine than found for Kylie Bell, a wardrobe stylist based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Like most brides, she had one real condition when picking out a wedding dress: it can reference other gowns, but it shouldn’t look exactly like anyone else’s.

Bell looked everywhere preparing for her 2022 wedding in Italy: “The Vivienne Westwoods, the Reem Acras, the Monique Lhuilliers. I even went to Kleinfeld,” she tells Marie Claire. I don't like having what everyone else has, but on Instagram, [where most brides find their wedding inspiration], it's easy to basically see a lot of the same thing."

The stylist can’t remember exactly when her search veered off the quintessential Manolo-trodden path of bridal salons and into a Gilded Age sun-lit studio in an Upper East Side apartment, though it very well may have been through a tag on social media. But somehow, Bell got in touch with Patricia Voto, the founder of One Of, an exclusively custom-made label whose designs are the antithesis of cookie-cutter. Over six appointments, the pair melded together seemingly disparate fashion references—including 1950s Givenchy, 2000s Dior, and a Schiaparelli top Cate Blanchett wore on a semi-recent red carpet—into a final result Bell called "perfect."

“I wanted to have that magical, colorful, very me moment, and she brought it to life,” Bell says.

Designer Patricia Voto sits in her Upper East Side studio for a portrait wearing a gray sweater from her label One Of

Patricia Voto sits in the Upper East Side studio where she takes appointments—a quiet, sunny space filled with rolls of antique textiles and samples for upcoming collections.

(Image credit: Jancarlo)

As her bridal clients can attest, Voto can translate their daydreams into reality with dream dresses and accessories. Similarly, she can take a common reference from Pinterest, like Sofia Richie Grainge or Camille Charriere, and create a piece that's like nothing you've seen before. For a client of bridal stylist Anny Choi, Voto fashioned a pair of tulle gloves that were dainty and whimsical but nuanced (so as to avoid "cotillion territory," Choi says). For culinary creative and event producer Celine Yousefzadeh, she created a flirty after-party dress—plus a piece for the bride’s sister-in-law and a custom suit for the groom.

Voto's ability to give almost anything her unique point-of-view—even the most classic wedding whites—has propelled the three-year-old business One Of into an if-you-know-you-know bridal destination. One Of’s revenue has grown 200 percent year-over-year, with more than half its clients seeking Voto for wedding day attire. As One Of’s ready-to-wear business grew, Voto started hearing from brides-to-be who, like Bell, wanted something they couldn’t find in stores. With her textile sourcing connections and gentle approach to the intimate fitting process, expanding into bridal just made sense.

The label now occupies two separate spaces in its Upper East Side townhouse: its cozy, client-facing studio and a new, official atelier, where One Of’s small but growing team stitches each piece by hand. Some clients are based in New York City; others are as distant as the U.K. and India. When they visit the studio, they can meet Voto and the people who assemble and tailor each piece.

With One Of, Patricia approaches the construction of garments with craft and care. Her use of heritage materials and tailoring is not only beautiful, but an effective way to be sustainable and ethical.

Angelina Jolie

It's probably not a surprise that Voto, who designs to the beat of her own drum, doesn’t show on the Bridal Fashion Week calendar. Still, she receives dozens of inbound inquiries for demi-bespoke after-party dresses, veils, and shoes regardless—the ironic part being that Voto never set out to become a bridal designer.

Voto worked her way through textile development and design roles at Rosie Assoulin, Brock Collection, Gabriela Hearst, and Altuzarra, thinking all the while that she could start her own label when she had enough experience.

designer Patricia Voto helps a bride get fitted for her wedding dress

Voto takes a hands-on approach with clients. Here, she shows a bride-to-be a feather embellishment for her after-party dress.

(Image credit: Nikki Daskalakis)

“I've been in the industry for over 15 years because I wanted to learn from each brand that I worked for,” she says from her studio, seated at a small table with a stack of sketches in front of her. “I didn’t want to dive in early and young and take a lot of risks.” Surrounded by racks of samples for her upcoming ready-to-wear collection, Frank Ocean softly filtering through a hidden speaker, Voto explains how she was ready for a professional reset by the time the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020. The next year, she officially unveiled One Of as a made-to-measure brand.

Her brand, she decided, would be an antidote to the “sea of sameness” in online shopping—and take a more sustainability-driven approach. Each piece in the tightly edited collections would be crafted from upcycled fabrics (often with luxury origins) and custom-made for each client. Procuring scraps from suppliers from Voto’s past design roles, they were initially confused at her interest in buying their so-called leftovers—but Voto knew they were the canvas for making truly original pieces.

Early collections’ custom-only items—starting at around $1,290 for a skirt or pair of pants—were a hit via word-of-mouth in New York circles. Eventually, Voto’s clientele expanded to celebrities like Madison Beer (whom she dressed for the 2021 Met Gala) and Rebecca Hall.

Angelina Jolie first got in touch with Voto during the designer's Gabriela Hearst tenure and has worn One Of pieces while starting her own fashion venture, Atelier Jolie. “With One Of, Patricia approaches the construction of garments with craft and care,” Jolie says. "Her use of heritage materials and tailoring is not only beautiful but an effective way to be sustainable and ethical."

a collage of Madison Beer, Angelina Jolie, and Rebecca Hall all wearing One Of

One Of's range of celebrity clients—including Madison Beer, Angelina Jolie, and Rebecca Hall, shown here–—demonstrates its cross-generational, cross-aesthetic appeal.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One Of’s network even extends to the White House: Naomi Biden first wore elbow-length One Of gloves with a Reem Acra dress for her 2022 wedding. Then, the First Lady chose One Of to commission two custom looks of her own.

Voto says most clients came with a referral from a friend or a family member. Sometimes, she’ll even host mother-daughter duos in her studio for appointments to tailor an entire capsule wardrobe. “I want to do a family tree at this point to show all of the points of connection,” she laughs.

A collage of One Of's behind the scenes design process, including sketches, dress forms with in progress pieces on them, and a close up of a garment

Voto hand-sketches custom designs in her studio (left) that are then crafted from rare vintage fabrics and, in some cases, hand-embellished (center and right).

(Image credit: Jancarlo)

With an expanded atelier, Voto is prepared to take on more clients this year—bridal and otherwise. Customers—who might not be willing to share their wedding dress designs—are willing to share their wedding dress designer. “My friend got wind that I was working with Patricia and she was sort of on the fence about working with her,” Yousefzadeh says. “Then I called her and said you should have faith in her capabilities. She's amazing.” That friend listened—and walked down the aisle in a One Of gown.

At the end of the day, especially with bridal, you're a part-time therapist. I think it's beautiful: You really build an intimate relationship with someone through each fitting.

Patricia Voto

“What's so amazing about what Patricia offers is that you don't just go to her and say, ‘I want XYZ,’” stylist Bailey Moon says. He’s known Voto since their overlapping roles at Gabriela Hearst and now works with her for both bridal and celebrity clients. “She really gets to know each client and their story and their wedding beyond wardrobe needs.”

Anny Choi, the bridal stylist, says an appointment with Voto never feels like you're being sold something—even when the result is a custom piece with a five-digit price tag. Instead, “You're talking to your friend about your events and what you're envisioning—and then all of a sudden an idea comes together,” she reflects. “She really lets the bride be the creative director and take the helm in the design process.”

One Of Designer Patricia Voto pins a skirt on a bride during a fitting

Voto sees brides through multiple fittings at her studio. Here, she takes in the waist on a bride's open-back gown.

(Image credit: Jancarlo)

That's why Voto kept her name off her brand: It's about the relationships she builds with each client and how she translates their styles into a specially sourced antique brocade fabric or a printed Mary Jane flat. Patricia Voto powers One Of, but it's the individual client who brings each piece to life, at every step of the process.

Now, Voto points out that there's no bigger honor for a designer than to dress someone for one of their biggest occasions. “At the end of the day, especially with bridal, you're a part-time therapist. I think it's beautiful: You really build an intimate relationship with someone through each fitting.”

Given her clientele's close recommendation network, she also takes special care to ensure clients with similar mood boards won't wear the same thing when they're taking their vows.

Maybe weddings weren't One Of's intention, but by the end of the wedding dress timeline—which can take anywhere from ten weeks to two years—brides start to feel less like clients and more like friends. Those friends end up coming back to Voto's townhouse studio for everyday pieces even after their weddings—or even just to visit.

Halie LeSavage
Senior News Editor (Fashion & Beauty)

Halie LeSavage is the senior fashion and beauty news editor at Marie Claire, where she assigns, edits, and writes stories for both sections. Halie is an expert on runway trends, celebrity style, emerging fashion and beauty brands, and shopping (naturally). In over seven years as a professional journalist, Halie’s reporting has ranged from fashion week coverage spanning the Copenhagen, New York, Milan, and Paris markets, to profiles on industry insiders including stylist Alison Bornstein and J.Crew womenswear creative director Olympia Gayot, to breaking news stories on noteworthy brand collaborations and beauty launches. (She can personally confirm that Bella Hadid’s Ôrebella perfume is worth the hype.) She has also written dozens of research-backed shopping guides to finding the best tote bags, ballet flats, and more. Most of all, Halie loves to explore what trends—like the rise of doll-like Mary Janes or TikTok’s 75 Hard Style Challenge—can say about culture writ large. (She justifies almost any purchase by saying it’s “for work.”) Halie has previously held writer and editor roles at Glamour, Morning Brew, and Harper’s Bazaar. Halie has been cited as a fashion and beauty expert in The Cut, CNN Underscored, and Reuters, among other outlets, and appears in newsletters like Selleb and Self-Checkout to provide shopping recommendations. In 2022, she was awarded the Hearst Spotlight Award for excellence and innovation in fashion journalism. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Harvard College. Outside of work, Halie is passionate about books, baking, and her miniature Bernedoodle, Dolly. For a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting, you can follow Halie on Instagram and TikTok.