ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Three Normandy High School families said they were stood up on prom night by a local fashion designer who they paid to make dresses.
Orange, purple, and white dresses were supposed to be the focal point of prom for a group of high school seniors and their parents. Now, they are feeling blue.
“This is my daughter,” said Marquisa Perkins. “She was ready for her prom, and she couldn’t go. I don’t even want to talk. I’m getting emotional right now.”
Perkins’ daughter, Arieal, and friends Trinity and Sharmaine bought their custom-made dresses from local fashion designer Buffy Bonds.
“When I found out the dress was $750, I was like maybe that is a little too expensive. But she earned her money, so I told her you can buy this dress.”
Their first impressions and first fittings raised no red flags.
“I thought everything is legit. It was like two months before prom. I thought she had plenty of time to have the dress made,” said Perkins. “I didn’t think anything bad about it. I just thought everything is cool for now.”
Marquisa said that changed the morning of the prom. The girls still didn’t have their dresses. She shared a text message exchange between her daughter and Buffy with FOX 2. In it, Buffy said her sister is doing drop-offs and asked for a delivery address. Several hours later, Buffy texted her again saying she will let them know when the delivery driver is close.
“Everybody is here. At this point, everybody is coming in like what’s going on? They see the guys here, and the girls aren’t ready. I said we have no dress,” Perkins said.
With the prom getting ready to start in a couple of hours and people already gathering at the house, one of the moms came to the north St. Louis County neighborhood where they believed the dressmaker lived to get some answers.
“She’s really got to be hurt. Who would want to do some teenagers on prom like that?” said Tameaka Bennett.
At the home, Bennett said she encountered a man who identified himself as a colleague of Buffy’s. She asked him what was going on.
“He said she had an anxiety attack. I said maybe that is why she’s not answering the phone. Because I know her phone is blowing up,” Bennett said.
Bennett left the home with two of the three girls’ dresses. They said the dresses were incomplete and unwearable.
“I said don’t let your whole prom day be ruined. Just go out on your party bus. I did not want them to ruin their whole day. I made them leave the house,” said Perkins.
Buffy Bonds declined an on-camera interview but Contact 2’s Mike Colombo spoke with her on the phone. She took accountability for what happened and said she wants to make sure these girls get their money back.
One of the girls was fully refunded. The other two say they’re owed a combined $940. They’re still waiting for their money. Buffy told FOX 2 she needed to make more money to pay them back.
“If I can save somebody else’s daughter from having to go through this, just one person from having to go through this, then I’ll feel a little better,” said Perkins.