On October 12, 2011, the Eternity modest bridal and formal gown company, which was one of the very first that we featured here on our site, officially closed. For nearly a year prior to this date, I had known thanks to Lynette Robinson, now retired from The Gallery by Lynette, that Eternity was assumed to be out of business by retailers such as herself who had carried the line in past years. Even though Eternity had not been returning phone calls or emails for months, the website remained online until the official closing was announced on Facebook.
My first introduction to Eternity gowns came through an ad in the Dallas, Texas, apparel market material given to buyers at the shows around 2006. The ad immediately caught my attention because the featured bridal dress was both modest and beautiful, a rare commodity. According to Eternity's Facebook profile, the manufacturing business began in 1990. Jane Walker had been designing and sewing custom gowns for clients in Michigan for years and then retailing other brands through her and her husband's Walkers' Bridal Emporium in Utah since 1984. From 1984 to 1990, Jane continued to use her skills as a seamstress to alter for modesty the dress brands they carried in the store. Then in 1990, she decided to design and mass manufacture her own line of modest dresses to help supply the need for dresses that were cut modestly from the beginning. Eternity was one of the earliest pioneers of bridal and formal wear that was both modest and modern as mainstream bridal styles began to shift to nearly all strapless designs in the mid-1990s. Around 500 retailers in the United States carried the Eternity line.
Lynette Robinson provided me with a little more history about the company. She said that the founders, Jeff and Jane Walker have a daughter and son who were active in the business. The daughter Jana took over the business, and later the Walker's son stepped in to handle manufacturing. Over the last decade, many other modest bridal and formal gown manufacturers have emerged as competition, but we still loved the Eternity website and many of the beautiful designs that were offered. Because of their length of time in business, they had a broad collection of styles and an excellent reputation. Two of our favorite styles were featured in the screenshot that we used for our former review, pictured here now with this post.
We will miss you, Eternity, and we'd love to see your brand return if possible. Thanks for all of your fabulous years of serving the modest bridal and formal gown market. We appreciate Eternity's contribution in paving the way for many similar companies to follow in the footsteps of their modest bridal and formal styling. Current shoppers may find alternate resources in our reviews of stores with modest wedding dresses.
After this article was originally posted on November 22, 2011, comments began to come from people who had ordered Eternity dresses that were never delivered. Retailers around the United States that carried the Eternity collection resolved most of those complaints with their customers, however several people who ordered directly from the Eternity owners' outlet, The Emporium, at 1497 South State Street in Orem, Utah, received neither their orders or refunds. Comments left around the web indicated that the company had been forced into bankruptcy and that final orders were never even sent to be manufactured.
It is apparent from comments placed by Eternity Gowns staff on social media sites in August 2011 that the business was going forward as usual. Then an announcement of closure was suddenly posted on the Eternity Gowns Facebook page on October 12, 2011. A few weeks later, the closure notice was deleted, leaving only promotional posts prior to that time, and the Facebook page was completely deleted by January 2013. Unexpected closures are hard on everyone. When bankruptcy is involved, a company's financial obligations often remain unresolved, from large debts to small ones. Occasionally, partial claims may be recovered by participating in bankruptcy proceedings. The experiences of those who did not receive orders in 2011 is regrettable, especially because Eternity was a stable supplier for decades in the modest bridal industry.
Many appreciative comments were posted to this original article. A few are reprinted here.
Wedding Dress, Lavynear Collins, April 17, 2012
"My aunty who lives in the States in Utah bought my wedding dress from Eternity gowns, one that I picked all the way from here in New Zealand for my wedding on March 31st 2012. I absolutely loved the way the dress looked on the site and then couldn't wait to get it so I could see it, and once it arrived and I had my fitting I fell in love with the dress straight away and couldn't wait for my wedding day to show it off! Everyone complimented me on my dress and how much they loved it. I wish I could wear my dress again. Sad that I could only wear it for one day but loved the fact that I got to wear an "ETERNITY" gown and looked stunning in it!"
I am SO sad that they closed! Jennica, February 12, 2012
"I am SO sad that they closed! I found absolutely the PERFECT wedding gown that I absolutely LOVED on that site... When I went to show my friend the website was down and I was hoping it would come back up! I am SO sad!!!! >>> :("
Wedding Dress, Terry William, March 16, 2012
"I loved their dresses. They had very unique and trendy collection with lots of varieties."
Eternity, Sarah, September 11, 2013
"I too loved the elegant and modest Eternity designs. I have not seen their equal on other modest gown sites. I was always sending friends to them!"
Buying Eternity from alternate source? Chisce, January 19, 2013
"I've found some of the Eternity dresses on Best Top Prices and I'm wondering if this is a reputable site to buy their dresses from at all? Something about it feels fishy, but they list themselves as having 93 of the Eternity Sacred Occasions dress that I've wanted for several years. Should I go ahead and get it? Does anyone know anything about this site? . . . I miss Eternity! :("
Beware of Knock-Offs, Fashion Belle, January 21, 2013
"These dresses are knock-off fakes, and I recommend staying away from this website. They have stolen the original pictures from Eternity's site, but the dresses are made offshore and will be of far inferior quality, both in the fit and materials used. You will be happier with dresses purchased directly from a reputable company that is still in business. Check our modest bridal and formal reviews to find dozens of companies that produce gowns like Eternity's."