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Bendel Heritage
The Story of Henri Bendel

 

Henri Bendel was a fearless innovator, a leading arbiter of women's fashion, and passionate explorer of the New & Tthe Next. He was born in Lafayette, Louisiana in 1868.

Bendel moved to New York to work as a milliner opening his own shop in Greenwich Village in 1895. A man known for infallible taste, he quickly became a leading tastemaker and couturier to the city's elite and his boutique became a beacon of luxury.

 

Bendel made his mark both literally and figuratvely by becoming the first retailer to brand himself. Having registered his own trademark in 1895, he created the now legendary brown and white striped shopping bag and hatbox.

 

A true pioneer Bendel was the first luxury retailer with an upper Fifth Avenue address, the first to hold a semi-annual sale, the first to offer in-store makeovers, and the first to stage a fashion show. He was also responsible for bringing Coco Chanel to the United States.

Bendel thrived not only as a retailer but also as a designer. His store carried the latest in Paris Couture along with Bendel's original apparel designs, fragrances, custom furs, hats, and bridal - plus an assortment of cosmetics, skincare, lingerie, and handbags.

 

This time marked a transition for the brand led by Geraldine Stutz, a former fashion magazine editor who joined the brand as President. One of her most notable accomplishments was the creation of the famed street of shops. It was a first in retail and a concept still used today.

Bendel's is also credited with the discovery of artist, Andy Warhol, who was brought on as an in-house illustrator.

 

In 1985, Les Wexner, retail legend and chairman of L Brands, acquired Henri Bendel and in 1991 he opened a magnificent new flagship.

During the renovation, the beautiful and one of a kind lalique windows that graced the side of the store were uncovered.  Because of this unique discovery and with the help of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Henri Bendel received landmark status from the Landmark Preservation Commission.

 

The collaboration with Andy Warhol continued Bendel's long history of fashion-centric illustration which endures today through the partnership with illustrator, Izak Zenou who began to work with the company in 1994.

Izak's Bendel girl illustrations have graced Henri Bendel advertising and promotional materials for the past 18 years and have become synonymous with the brand.

 

The brwon & white stripe celebrated its 100th Anniversary, which coincided with the launch of the Henri Bendel accessory collection.

 

In 2008, Henri Bendel began to open new stores outside of New York City. The expansion cintinues, today the brand has more than 28 stores in premier shopping destinations around the country.

 

The Henri Bendel brand, still vibrant more than a century after its inception, continues to champion the spirit of the store's visionary founder. It strives to always delight and serve fashinable women, to seek out the best of the New & the Next and to always experiment and innovate.

Henri Bendel is a Girl's Playground consistently interpreting and reinventing itself as a destination rooted in the never-ending energy abundance and creativity of the city of New York