Bridal gowns trashed in Minnesota create local fuss
Posted January 4, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Images of designer wedding gowns being spray-painted and thrown into a dumpster at a Priscilla of Boston bridal shop in Minnesota have created a stir locally, as people question whether leftover gowns at a Priscilla of Boston store in Raleigh were destroyed or donated.
People sounded off about the issue on Facebook, calling the company and its designers wasteful and selfish.
The high-end bridal boutique closed its locations across the country at the end of December. A former employee at the Cameron Village location told WRAL News she saw workers boxing up some items, but spray-painting and trashing others last week.
Several shop owners at Cameron Village, however, said they never saw any dresses being destroyed.
David's Bridal, which bought Priscilla of Boston, said it's taking another look at its policy but did not confirm or deny whether dresses had been destroyed at the Raleigh store.
"While it has been Priscilla of Boston's policy not to make donations of sample dresses that are in poor condition, we recognize that some of these dresses could possibly have gone to worthy causes," the company wrote in a statement. "David's Bridal has already begun bringing together all of the remaining Priscilla of Boston gowns to evaluate them and ensure that they are donated to our charitable partners wherever possible."
David's Bridal also maintained that only a small number of unsold gowns were destroyed at the boutique in Minnesota and that they were from a discontinued line of merchandise.
Still, the company wrote, it understands "the anger and frustration that many people are feeling about this occurrence."
Kathy Purser, who owns Victorian Rose Bridal in Raleigh, said she doesn't understand why the dresses weren't donated.
"There are brides out there getting married (who) don't have the money or resources to buy the gown they would really love," she said. "If the gowns are there, why destroy them? Why not give them to girls (who) could really use them right now?"
Purser said she has always found fruitful ways to get rid of unsold gowns at her shop. She either has a sample sale to clear out merchandise on the floor, sells the gowns to last-minute brides or donates them.
"You can't sell every gown on the floor," she said. "At that point, we would take them to a consignment shop or donate them to charities, which we've always done every year."
She said that, while designers will sometimes put restrictions on when gowns can be donated or discounted, she's never heard a designer request that any gowns be spray-painted and discarded.
"I think that would break (a designer's) heart to see a gown destroyed like that. They put their heart and soul into every little bit of making that bridal gown," she said. "It's an emotional thing that the designers do for the brides, so to see something like that is very sad."