Daughter of late dress shop owners continues tradition in Collingswood, New Jersey

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Friday, September 29, 2023
Daughter of late dress shop owners continues tradition in South Jersey
Her parents passed away 20 days apart. Now, Gina Postiglione is left to carry on the legacy of Marlene's Dress Shop in Collingswood, New Jersey.

COLLINGSWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- "Everyone knew what my parents did in this town," said Gina Postiglione.

Postiglione, the daughter of Marlene and John Gagliardi, has worked alongside her parents since 1987.

The history dates back to 1972 when the Gagliardi family first opened a salon. It became Marlene's Dress Shop in 1983 and remains in business to this day on Haddon Avenue.

The family enjoyed many successful decades of serving the South Jersey area with prom dresses, sportswear, accessories, and gowns for the mothers of the bride and groom.

The Gagliardis were even heavily involved with developing the identity of Collingswood starting in the 1970s. John especially worked to develop events and fundraisers to draw interest from both residents and out-of-towners.

But personal tragedy struck earlier this year.

"My dad passed away June 6. We had a tribute with him in the window. We had the funeral here in Collingswood over 300 people attended," said Postiglione. "And then 20 days later, my mom passed."

For John Gagliardi, it was congestive heart failure followed by kidney failure. For his wife, Marlene, it was a quick battle with lung cancer.

"We feel like they could not live without each other," said Postiglione.

Unfortunately for Postiglione, she must now navigate all parts of operating the business without the help or guidance of her parents.

But giving up was not an option.

"Now, I will definitely, definitely keep on my mom's legacy going and she's proud of me," said Postiglione, who is now president of the corporation. "So, I'm definitely going to be here hopefully for another 50 years."

While she was alive, Marlene Gagliardi and her daughter discussed a first-of-its-kind sale to celebrate 40 years in business. From October 7th to October 15th 2023, the dress shop will have a 40% off sale across the entire store in recognition of their milestone.

To learn more about Marlene's Dress Shop, visit their website.

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