Prom dress designer speaks out after complaints from students and parents

Samantha Chatman Image
Friday, May 26, 2023
Prom dress designer responds after complaints from students, parents
Local prom dress maker Binta Diallo is speaking out after complaints from unsatisfied students and their parents.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A local prom dress maker is speaking out after complaints from unsatisfied students and their parents.

Customers said Binta Diallo left their daughters with incomplete dresses for prom. Others said she left them empty-handed and refuses to issue a refund.

But while the designer admits she got behind on some of the prom dresses, she said many of her customers didn't have patience. And she said some even got physical with her.

Diallo is the designer and owner of Sagale. She said she wants to set the record straight after several customers contacted the ABC7 I-Team about their prom dresses.

"It has been extremely busy. People are calling, checking on their dresses every minute, every second," she said.

Diallo said she blames one of her employees that she said she had to fire, but she also said some of her customers have gotten out of control, showing up without appointments, and didn't give her a chance to finish their garments.

"They will call me one time, if I don't pick up they will call hundreds of times," she said. "I know everybody's anxious right now. I have hired three people to come into the shop to help me with the dresses. But I will need you guys to please allow me to work."

Victoria Whitfield said her daughter's dress was not satisfactory. The Chicago mom is one of several parents who claim the designer dodges calls for days and has left some of them with what they call shoddy dresses, or no dress at all.

Whitfield said her daughter got her dress two hours before prom and couldn't believe the finished product.

"I was livid. You could see it was rushed. It was hot glued. The seams were all messed up. We had nothing to do but get the dress to my daughter within an hour," she said.

She, like others, said Diallo refused to issue a refund.

Diallo said she has issued refunds, but needs to figure out who is still genuinely owed money first. She also told the I-Team that she's trying hard to help each person affected.

She said she realized some of the dresses were rushed by an employee, so she had to restart some of the dresses.

Diallo said she sent a text message to her customers, saying in part, "In my years of experience, I have never missed, forgotten, or messed up someone's dress."

She said earlier this week a disgruntled customer and their relative came to her boutique and jumped her. She said they also took some of her dresses.

"She came behind me, attacked me on the head and put me on the ground-literally almost killed me," Diallo said.

"I don't condone any violence whatsoever, and I'm sorry that happened to her, but I can understand why parents are livid and upset," said Whitfield.

Chicago police said no one is in custody for the alleged attack and they're continuing to investigate.

In the meantime, Diallo said she will continue to look through her documents and receipts to determine who is owed a refund.