The abrupt closing of a top bridal gown designer has left more than 1,400 authorized retailers across the country, including 12 on Long Island, scrambling to assist panicked brides-to-be who don’t know the status of the dresses they ordered.
Delray Beach, Florida-based Alfred Angelo Bridal, an 80-year-old chain with more than 60 stores nationwide, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation on Friday and closed all its locations. None of the company-owned stores is on Long Island.
A note on the bridal retailer’s website said: “We apologize for the inconvenience and hardship resulting from this event. We appreciate your patience.” The company said it will post additional information regarding the status of dresses on its website.
Alfred Angelo, known for its Disney-themed designs, also sold its wedding gowns and dresses for bridesmaids, flower girls or social occasions through authorized retailers.
Long Island’s retailers said they were doing what they could to help customers.
Rosemary Marsh, co-owner of Angel Bridals in East Islip, who has been in business for 28 years, said she had orders for 32 Alfred Angelo bridesmaid dresses and one for a bridal grown. One customer demanded her money back.
“We are taking the hit,” Marsh said, adding that authorized dealers usually hold deposits in escrow.
Victoria Sorrentino, of Bellmore, who is getting married in December, had ordered 13 bridesmaid dresses in June from Angel Bridals after a four-month search.
“We have to start from the beginning,” Sorrentino said. “It was more than just a dress. It is an emotional setback.”
Ron Artura, owner of Wedding Plaza Bridal in Floral Park, said that in 25 years in business he has never had a manufacturer close without filling its orders or giving notice. About a dozen of his customers have been affected, he said.
“We are doing this blindly,” Artura said. “Even if we can get word that dresses will [arrive] in the next month, I am not sure if we will wait.”
Roselynn Fiumara, owner of Bridal Reflections in Carle Place and Massapequa, in business for 44 years, said she pulled all Alfred Angelo dresses from her sales floor and plans to donate more than 50 for proms or communions.
“We were just as surprised as the brides were,” said Fiumara, adding that 10 bridal parties were affected.
Alfred Angelo has more than $400,000 in wholesale dress orders in transit, said Patricia A. Redmond, an attorney for Miami-based law firm Stearns Weaver Miller, which handled the bankruptcy filing. Redmond is working to get an update by Wednesday afternoon on the orders. She will work with a court-appointed trustee to release bridal dresses, she said.
Customers who ordered through an authorized dealer should contact the bridal shop directly for a refund, assistance or other options, Redmond said.
Those who ordered from Alfred Angelo stores should contact court-appointed trustee Margaret Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Brides should contact the trustee, attempt to learn whether their dresses are in existence and pay for any outstanding balances to get possession,” said John E. Westerman, a managing partner at Uniondale-based law firm Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein in an email.