Aug 11, 2023 CDT
TLC's reality TV show Say Yes to the Dress featured designer Randy Fenoli, center left, Ann Kang, and James Kang celebrate with the others during the ribbon cutting ceremony Friday for the Shops at Willow Bend's newest store, Chally Bridal & Prom in Plano.(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)
Chally Bride & Prom opened Friday in Plano’s Shops at Willow Bend saying that at 40,000 square feet it’s the largest bridal salon in Texas.
Ann and James Kang moved to Texas in January 2020 to open a bridal store, but then everyone knows what happened next.
Three years later and with pandemic-delayed weddings back in full force since last year, the couple opened Chally Bridal & Prom in Plano’s Shops at Willow Bend. For Texas, the Kangs have added an extensive quinceañera selection.
The store opened Friday with a two-day trunk show featuring designer Randy Fenoli from TLC’s long-running reality show, Say Yes to the Dress. Fenoli said he has 35 private shopping appointments set up for Friday and Saturday.
The Kangs operated a bridal salon for 25 years in St. Louis before moving to Texas where their son and daughter had settled. Chally is a mashup of their son’s and daughter’s names, Chris and Ally.
The 40,000-square-foot store is the largest bridal salon in Texas, according to Ann Kang. It has three mirrored runway areas and is on level one near Dillard’s with event space for 200 seated guests.
“There’s plenty of parking and restaurants in the mall could provide catering. Customers can also bring in their own food,” James Kang said.
Chally Bridal & Prom has signed a three-year lease with the mall, which is at the beginning of a massive, multiyear redevelopment project. Dallas-based Centennial has a zoning request pending with the city of Plano to add a hotel and apartments to its plans.
The Kangs said they know the mall owners have plans to redevelop the property but wanted a Plano location for their new store. They booked Fenoli earlier this year to be part of their grand opening.
“I’ve known Randy for more than 25 years. We carried his first designer collection,” Ann Kang said.
Brides would come into their Maiden Voyage Bridal store in St. Louis to try dresses on the TLC reality show, she said. “We carried most of the designers at Kleinfeld and women knew they could find them in my shop.”
Kleinfeld is the New York store made famous by the Say Yes to the Dress show, which debuted in 2007. Fenoli was Kleinfeld’s fashion director from 2007 to 2012.
Asked about the trend of brides having multiple wedding dresses on their big day, Fenoli said he’s not a fan. “Your wedding is not a fashion show. When you leave to change you’re missing time with your guests,” he said. His gowns are priced from $1,500 to $4,500 with the average around $2,400.
Fenoli was at the forefront of bridal gown designs that can make a quick change from ceremony to reception with sleeves and stoles that come off to reveal a sexier dress. His designs also include trains that partially snap off which are easier to move around in at the reception.
Is there a design that’s popular with brides today?
“No, everything is in,” Fenoli said,” bohemian, sexy backs and sides, or clean and simple.”
Ann Kang, left, and James Kang owners of Chally Bridal & Prom. (Jason Janik / Special Contributor)