Why Kate Middleton’s gown was a royal flop for dress retailers

Just because you’re marrying a prince — or you are Hollywood royalty — doesn’t mean your wedding gown-inspired designs will have a fairy tale result at retail.

Just ask any wedding dress retailer about Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding gown.

“I [could not] tell you it was a hot number,” said Jim Resh, who owns J&B Bridals in Chambersburg, Pa. “We sold under 10 of those dresses.”

The problem, said bridal experts, is that the dress Middleton chose wasn’t sexy.

“She had to follow a royal tradition and stand in front of the crown,” said wedding gown designer Madeline Gardner, whose replica of Middleton’s dress was priced at about $1,300.

Gardner, who makes gowns for New York-based Morilee, sold just 200 of the Middleton gowns, when a popular design can fetch upwards of 30,000 in sales, she said in an interview last week.

Dresses worn by Hollywood royalty — on or off the screen — also do not guarantee retail success.

For that, consider the interest — or lack thereof — in the dress that Kristen Stewart wore as Bella Swan in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” — released just months after Middleton’s wedding.

The Carolina Herrera-designed crepe satin gown was quickly replicated with the bridal dress company Alfred Angelo selling a version for $799.

“Every manufacturer came out with a copy of Bella’s dress,” said Madison Debany of RK Bridal. “But the dress was a flop.”

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