Priscilla of Boston, a high-end bridal chain best known for making Grace Kelly’s wedding gown, came to an undignified end last week when current parent company David’s Bridal shut it down. This news wouldn’t have made national headlines if an alert shopper in a Minneapolis suburb hadn’t noticed unsold dresses by the rackful being wrecked with red spray paint and tossed in a dumpster.
Yes, it’s wasteful and appalling. David’s Bridal claims that the gowns, most of which retailed for more than your first car, couldn’t be donated due to contractual obligations to high-end designers. Worried about the “brand dilution,” the suppliers don’t want their brand-new gowns filling a thrift store rack, or, evidently, being worn by poor people.
In an initial statement, David’s Bridal explained:
Priscilla of Boston has always donated quality bridal gowns to a variety of charitable causes. We do not, however, donate unsaleable dresses that are damaged, soiled or in otherwise poor condition.
Your helpful bridal fashion hint for today: avoid spray-painting unworn gowns in order to keep them out of “poor condition.”
David’s later issued another statement to NBC’s Today show, claiming that they would try to salvage some gowns for brides in need.
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. 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.
Edina boutique takes heat for trashing $4,000-plus gowns [Star-Tribune]
Priscilla of Boston Wedding Dresses Destroyed in Dumpster [Fox 9]
Bridal chain apologizes for destroying wedding dresses [Today Weddings] (Thanks, Kelly!)