With the U.S. market for wedding gowns hitting $7.7 billion a year, high-end designers like Oscar de la Renta are expanding into an area that was previously limited to bridal specialists like Vera Wang. The market driven trend began about 20 years ago, according to Business of Fashion, when "prominent society women started turning to their designer friends to make their gowns." Carolyn Bessette's choice of Narcisco Rodriguez for her wedding to John Kennedy, Jr. is cited as a prime example. The move away from the "Cinderella" gown lets each woman "express who she is while not wearing a gown that wears her," summarizes Caroline Burstein of Browns Brides in London. In a twist on the trend, bridal designer FIDM Alumna Monique Lhuillier successfully made the move into ready-to-wear, after building the brand in bridal.