After 123 Years Henri Bendel Closes its Doors Forever!

                                                                                                                                                Photo's courtesy of Henri Bendel

It’s the End of an Era! The products are flying off the shelves at Henri Bendel – partly because of the amazing clearance sale – but mostly because everyone wants a piece of Henri Bendel before the stores close forever in a few short weeks.

Legendary designer Henri Bendel started out as a women’s hat maker before moving to New York at the end of the 19th century. The sophisticates of the city quickly took notice and Henri Bendel grew fast – opening the prestigious 5th Avenue store in 1912. His namesake store was the first truly “upper Fifth Avenue” luxury retail destination and of course was the store to introduce Coco Chanel to the USA. One of their other (many) claims to fame was employing a young Andy Warhol as their main in-store designer during the 1960’s.

                                                                                                                                                                 Photo: Facebook.com

L Brands acquired the company in 1985 hoping to continue the Henri Bendel tradition, but shortly
after opening stores in other parts of the country in 2008 they announced the stores would stop selling clothing to concentrate on the gift and accessory market. Another major decision in 2014 to cease
selling their popular outside brands was met with confusion and apprehension about the company’s future.

                                                                                                                                                                 Photo: Facebook.com

“We have decided to stop operating Bendel to improve company profitability and focus on our larger brands that have greater growth potential,” billionaire Les Wexner, chairman and CEO of L Brands, stated upon releasing the news of the closure. L Brands will now be concentrating on growing the sales of their other brands – Bath & Body Works and the financially-struggling Victoria’s Secret.

We’ll miss visiting the iconic inspiring flagship store and seeing what all the “Bendel Girls” are wearing, and we’re curious to see what other changes 2019 will bring to the fashion industry.

Once a #bendelgirl, always a #bendelgirl!   xo Henri

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