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|Founders||Henri Willis Bendel|
|Headquarters||666 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York
|Number of locations||16 (October 2011)|
Henri Bendel is an American upscale women's specialty store based in New York City that sells handbags, jewelry, luxury fashion accessories, cosmetics, fragrances and gifts. Its flagship New York store, established in 1895 is currently located at 712 Fifth Avenue.
Henri Willis Bendel, a milliner by trade, was the first retailer to bring the designs of Coco Chanel over to the United States from Paris. The company he founded maintained this tradition of introducing influential socialites to what's new and next in fashion by launching designers including Alyce Hamm, Anna Sui, Stephen Burrows, Rick Owens and Diane von Furstenberg. Bendel's also fosters the work of upcoming designers through its semi-annual "Open-See" events, at which vendors can present merchandise to corporate buyers on a "first come, first seen" basis, with the chance that their pieces will be selected for a trunk show or even for sale in the Fifth Avenue store.
The brand is well known for its brown-and-white striped shopping bags, its signature hatboxes, and an extensive matching line of cosmetics bags.
Ownership & Leadership
Henri Bendel is owned by Limited Brands based in Columbus, who purchased the company in 1985. The personality most associated with Henri Bendel is Geraldine Stutz, who was its president for 29 years until 1986 when the store was sold to Limited. She introduced the famous "Street of Shops", the boutiques-within-a-specialty-store concept which later gained wide popularity at the store's former location on 57th Street in New York City.
Bendel on Fifth Avenue
Located at 10 West 57th Street for decades, Henri Bendel moved to its current location at 712 Fifth Avenue near 56th Street in 1990. The store is located in two landmark buildings, the Rizzoli Building (712 Fifth Avenue) and Coty Building (714 Fifth Avenue), and a new five-story building. The company was delighted to discover hidden Lalique windows during the restoration of the existing buildings. The store has four stories plus a lower level, an atrium with balconies, and 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) of selling space.
The main floor is home to the Gazebo Shop and many cosmetics brands, most of them in limited distribution. The Gazebo Shop features the Henri Bendel accessories collection. You will also find hair accessories, home fragrance as well as bath and body products. Featured cosmetics brands include Mally Beauty, Kevin Aucoin, Laura Mercier, Nars, Trish McEvoy, and, on the mezzanine, fragrances. The store was also one of the first to carry Annick Goutal fragrances.
The second floor houses with their expansive costume jewelry selection, cold weather accessories, sunglasses, small leather goods, fragrances such as L'Artisan Parfumeur, and hair accessories
There are events and trunk shows consistently being held that consist of a variety of beauty organizations for hair, makeup, fashion, jewelry, and accessories.
The fourth floor is the home of the Frédéric Fekkai hair salon.
In April 2009, when it was decided that apparel would no longer be carried (instead shifting focus on fashion accessories, cosmetics, and gift items) the company announced six smaller shops would open across the country. These first locations after the New York Flagship were at Somerset Collection, NorthPark Center, The Mall at Short Hills, King of Prussia Mall, Beverly Center, and South Coast Plaza.
Since these initial six expansion locations the brand has grown to 29 locations total, with most major markets having a location, with the notable exceptions of San Francisco and Boston. Locations include Columbus, Ohio, Miami, San Diego, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Minneapolis. The brand also has multiple locations throughout Metropolitan Chicago, Las Vegas, and suburban Washington, D.C..