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Video: Outrage after closing bridal store defaces gowns

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    >>> taken to our website to express outrage over the intentional destruction of tens of thousands of dollars worth of designer wedding gowns that happened at a bridal shop in minnesota . nbc's kevin tibbles will join us with the latest. good morning.

    >> reporter: we're all familiar with the phrase, pretty in pink , but in edina , minnesota many are referring to it as a case of shocking pink . instead of a lavish walk down the aisle, these elaborate wedding dresses were destined for the dumpster.

    >> it was really a terrible sight.

    >> bridal and formal gowns, some with price tags topping $4,000,ically ta ken, defaced, and tossed in the gowns.

    >> i'm seeing thousands of dollars of gowns being spray painted and thrown in the dumpster.

    >> reporter: all happening outside this high end bridal shop in edina , minnesota at priscilla of boston , a chain that was going out of business . many who witnessed the destruction had one question.

    >> why didn't they donate them to needy people?

    >> reporter: in response the company released this statement. 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. but one retail analyst suggests in the competitive world of high fashion , the dresses may have been destroyed in order to save them.

    >> for some retailers, they're really concerned with their merchandise getting counterfeited so that is one reason why they would want to go ahead and destroy these items.

    >> reporter: stunned eyewitnesses say they saw no evidence of damage prior to the spray paint assault.

    >> it hurt me physically to see that. it was sad.

    >> some even dumpster dived in an attempt to rescue the designer cast aways pulling dresser, slippers, and mannequins out of the trash.

    >> just spray paint the dress. give it to somebody who doesn't have the money.

    >> reporter: in edina maybe pink is the new white but some here are seeing red . now, late wednesday priscilla of boston 's parent company david's bridal issued an apology saying that like many of you we were disheartened by imagery of a small number of unsold bridal gowns being destroyed. we recognize that some of these dresses could possibly have gone to worthy causes. adding that 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. now it sounds like they could use a big gallon of whiteout or maybe pinkout in edina . ann?

    >> kevin tibbles, thank you so much. maybe some good will come of all this.

TODAY.com
updated 1/4/2012 5:54:00 PM ET 2012-01-04T22:54:00

The decision of a now-defunct bridal boutique to destroy rather than donate its unsold dresses sparked outrage among onlookers and TODAY.com readers. Now, the shop’s parent company has issued an apology.

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Video: Outrage after closing bridal store defaces gowns (on this page)

Last Friday, eye witnesses documented the spray-painting and discarding of thousands of dollars’ worth of bridal and formal gowns, including a $6,000 Vera Wang creation, outside a Priscilla of Boston shop in Edina, Minn.

The chain, which closed all locations on Friday, sent out a statement to NBC affiliate KARE-TV saying, “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.”

Retail analyst and author of "Black Market Billions" Hitha Prabhakar suggests that this may also have been done to protect the dress designs.

“For some retailers, they’re really concerned with their merchandise getting counterfeited, so that’s one reason why they would want to go ahead and destroy these items,” she told TODAY.

Story: Destruction of wedding dresses sparks outrage, disbelief

TODAY.com readers were among those upset by the boutique’s actions. After we ran the story Tuesday, readers took to Facebook to express their anger, generating 342 comments.

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“Totally selfish and a waste!! Can't believe they would ruin dresses, there are so many charities out there that could have used those dresses!! Awful!” wrote Megan Perez.

“That is totally disgusting! As a result, I will NOT support David's Bridal stores EVER AGAIN!!!!” added Susie Wilson Williams.

Story: Something old, something new ... and something in flames

David’s Bridal, Priscilla of Boston’s parent company, heard the critics loud and clear, issuing the following statement to TODAY.com on Wednesday:

“Like many of you, we were disheartened by imagery of a small number of unsold bridal gowns being destroyed following a Priscilla of Boston salon closure in the Midwest. As the parent company of Priscilla of Boston, we fully understand the anger and frustration that many people are feeling about this occurrence.

“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.

“From all of us at David’s Bridal, we truly appreciate hearing your sentiments. We believe that every bride deserves a beautiful gown, and we will continue to honor that commitment.”

David’s Bridal announced last year that it would shutter all of its 19 Priscilla of Boston locations.

Tracy DiNunzio, founder of Recycled Bride, which allows people to buy and sell gently used wedding dresses, had expressed her anger when she heard about the dresses being discarded. Now, she hopes David’s Bridal will follow through on salvaging the rest of the gowns.

“It’s heartening to hear that they’re going to donate some of the additional dresses, but still sad that so many dresses were destroyed,” she told TODAY.com. “There are a lot of markets like Recycled Bride where dresses like these can be sold at a discount to help make the wedding day special for every bride. I just hope they really do the right thing with the rest of the dresses.”

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Photos: Celebrity weddings of 2011

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  1. Shania Twain and Frederick Nicolas Thiebaud

    Singer Shania Twain wed Nestlé executive Frederick Nicolas Thiebaud on Jan. 1, 2011 in Puerto Rico. Prior to Nicolas she was married to Robert John "Mutt" Lange from 1993-2010; the couple split after Lange allegedly had an affair with Thiebaud's wife, Marie-Anne ... who was repordly a close friend of Shania's. (Gabriel Bouys / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Kellie Pickler and Kyle Jacobs

    Singer and former "American Idol" contestant Kellie Pickler eloped with songwriter Kyle Jacobs on Jan. 1 in a small ceremony on an island in the Caribbean. (Rick Diamond / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth

    Reese Witherspoon married entertainment agent Jim Toth on March 26 at her country estate in Ojai, Calif. She had two children with former husband, fellow actor Ryan Phillippe, to whom she was married for seven years. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes

    Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes married on April 22 at a private home in California. Both stars earlier were married to other people (Cibrian to "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" Brandi Glanville; Rimes to backup dancer Dean Sheremet). (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Prince William and Catherine Middleton

    Prince William married Catherine Middleton on April 29, making her the Duchess of Cambridge. The ceremony was broadcast alive around the world to hundreds of millions, and was held at Westminster Abbey. Middleton's engagement ring was an 18-carat sapphire, the same one William's father Charles gave to his bride, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. (Lewis Whyld / Pool via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert

    Country singers Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert met at the CMT 100 Greatest Duets Concert in 2006, and after four years of dating got engaged. They wed on May 14 at Don Strange Ranch in Boerne, Tex. Guests included Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson and Cee Lo Green. (Evan Agostini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Luisana Lopilato and Michael Bublé

    Singer Michael Bublé wed model Luisana Lopilato on March 31 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bublé wrote his single "Haven't Met You Yet" for her, and she appeared in the song's music video. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Sam Cooper and Lily Allen

    Lily Allen and building company owner Sam Cooper married on June 11 in St. James the Great Church in Gloucestershire, England. Allen gave birth to their daughter on Nov. 25, 2011. (Martin Grimes / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig

    Friends for years before they began dating while co-starring in 2011's "Dream House," Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig married in a private New York City ceremony on June 22. Only four people were reportedly in attendance, including Weisz's son and Craig's daughter. (Bowers / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. America Ferrera and Ryan Piers Williams

    America Ferrera married longtime beau Ryan Piers Williams in upstate New York on June 27. The pair used her "Ugly Betty" co-star Vanessa Williams' Chappaqua home for the event ... and it was officiated by another co-star, Judith Light. The pair first met when Williams cast Ferrera in a student film at the University of Southern California. (Dave M. Benett / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Jamie Hince and Kate Moss

    Iconic model Kate Moss and The Kills guitarist Jamie Hince wed on July 1 in St. Peter's Church in Southrop, England. Reportedly the couple were engaged in Amsterdam, when he proposed to her with a vintage 1920s ring worth over $15,000. The always fashion-forward bride wore a dress made by John Galliano. (Jonathan Short / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Charlene Lynette Wittstock and Prince Albert II of Monaco

    Charlene Lynette Wittstock became Princess Charlene of Monaco after marrying Prince Albert II of Monaco on July 2 in Monaco. They had two unions that day: a civil one in the Throne Room and a Roman Catholic ceremony in the Prince's Palace. The former Wittstock had been a South African Olympic swimmer; Prince Albert is the son of onetime actress Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier III. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo

    Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo married on July 15 on Sir Richard Branson's private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands in a small ceremony that was later televised on TLC. Lachey had been married to Jessica Simpson from 2002-06. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips

    England rugby player Mike Tindall scored big by marrying into the royal family on July 30. Bride Zara Phillips is the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II. The two wed at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, with the senior members of the royal family in attendance. (Dylan Martinez / Pool via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

    Though they were only united for 72 days, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries' wedding on Aug. 20 in Montecito, Calif. was one of the most notable of the year. Her headpiece alone cost $2.5 million dollars and was inspired by Audrey Hepburn; her engagement ring was 20.5 carats. She filed for a divorce on October 31, 2011, but Humphries is reportedly looking to annul the marriage on the grounds of fraud. (Albert Michael / startraksphoto.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars

    Director Sofia Coppola married French singer Thomas Mars on Aug. 27 at her family's villa in Bernalda, Italy. They have two daughters, Romy and Cosima. Coppola, daughter of director Francis Ford Coppola, was previously married to director Spike Jonze from 1999-2003. (Alberto Pizzoli / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. David Lauren and Lauren Bush

    David Lauren, son of fashion designer Ralph Lauren and Lauren Bush, niece of former President George W. Bush, married on Sept. 4 on Ralph Lauren's ranch in Telluride, Colo. (Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Carter Oosterhouse and Amy Smart

    HGTV's Carter Oosterhouse and actress Amy Smart wed in an outdoor ceremony on September 10 in Traverse City, Mich. Over 200 people attended the ceremony, according to reports. (John Sciulli / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed

    KISS singer Gene Simmons married former Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed on Oct. 1 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. They had been together for 28 years, and he asked her to marry him on his reality show "Gene Simmons Family Jewels." They have two children, Nick and Sophia. (Danny Moloshok / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Lauren Miller and Seth Rogen

    Writer Lauren Miller and actor Seth Rogen began dating after he met her while working on "Da Ali G Show" in 2004. The pair married in a location overlooking a Sonoma, Calif. vineyard on Oct. 2. Friends including director Judd Apatow were on hand for the ceremony. (Theo Wargo / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Duchess of Alba Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y Silva and Alfonso Diez

    Spain's Duchess of Alba Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y Silva married for the third time on Oct. 5 at Seville's Las Duenas Palace, uniting with Alfonso Diez, a civil servant who runs a PR firm. Her children were not happy with their 85-year-old mother marrying a man 25 years younger than she, but she made it easier on them by handing out their inheritances before the wedding. The bride reportedly danced the flamenco on a red carpet after the ceremony. (Marcelo Del Pozo / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Nancy Shevell and Paul McCartney

    Former Beatle Paul McCartney tied the knot for the third time on Oct. 9 at a London registry office, in a low-key gathering of about 30 family and friends. His bride, Nancy Shevell is a New York heiress and a member of the board of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority, and they had dated since Nov. 2007. A reception held at the couple's St. John's Wood home in the city was visited by local inspectors responding to noise complaints from neighbors. (Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Kurt Iswarienko and Shannen Doherty

    Former "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Shanne Doherty wed photographer Kurt Iswarienko on Oct. 15 in Malibu, Calif. It was the third time down the aisle for the 40-year-old actress, who said she'd "learned her lesson" about getting hitched. The nuptials were filmed for a reality show on Doherty that is slated to air on WE. (David Livingston / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Jennifer Nettles and Justin Miller

    Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles married entrepeneur Justin Miller on Nov. 26 in a sunset ceremony in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains. The bride wore an Alexander McQueen gown before a small group of friends and family, including fellow bandmate Kristian Bush. Miller appeared in the 2006 Sugarland video "Want To." (Christopher Polk / ACMA2011 via Getty) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Jeff Probst and Lisa Ann Russell

    "Survivor" host Jeff Probst married Lisa Ann Russell on Dec. 5 in an intimate ceremony at a private Los Angeles residence. Russell is the former wife of actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar; it is the second marriage for Probst. (David Livingston / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Sinead O'Connor and Barry Herridge

    Controversial singer Sinead O'Connor married for the fourth time on Dec. 8 -- her 45th birthday -- this time to Barry Herridge at A Little White Wedding Chapel drive-through facility. They couple were able to say their "I do's" while sitting in the back of a pink Cadillac that accurately matched O'Connor's dress. The bride posted a "photo of the celebrity guests at our wedding" afterwards -- and it was just an empty pew. (Infuslv-07 / INFphoto.com) Back to slideshow navigation
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