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Henri Bendel : Fashion Ghost of New York

Henri Bendel : Fashion Ghost of New York 

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Henri Bendel : Fashion Ghost of New York The iconic brown and white stripes of Bendel have forever left New York City after 123 years of life and luxury. It has been years since the closure, yet New Yorkers are still in mourning over her passing.

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When luxury retailer Henri Bendel announced the closing of its flagship store on Fifth Avenue and its other 23 locations, including the shutdown of the website, fashionistas everywhere were heartbroken. After 123 years of leading the luxury retail industry, the company closed the iron gates in January of 2019, forever leaving a hole in the heart of New York.

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Retail fashion has been endangered for years while shoppers have been turning to online sources for merchandise. 

L-Brands, the parent company of Bendel, announced that due to a decrease in sales in 2018— and increased retail competition, it would shutter the brand. L-Brand’s had an eye on their financial statements closed Bendel “to improve company profitability and focus on our larger brands that have greater growth potential,” which included Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret.

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The upscale store was founded in 1895 by Henri Willis Bendel, a Louisianan who moved to New York City to pursue his dream of fashion merchandising. 

The first store opened in Greenwich Village in 1895, soon becoming a huge hit. In 1907, the iconic brown and white packaging was introduced, and has remained a part of the status symbol it is today. 

That same year, Bendel’s became the first U.S. retailer to carry Coco Chanel designs. 

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In 1913, the brand became one of the first luxury retailers to open a flagship store with an “upper Fifth Avenue address,” according to its website. L-Brands acquired Bendel in 1985 and led its expansion into 11 states with over 28 retail stores.

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Not only was Bendel an upscale retailer, but it was also a landmark building, reaching this status in 2010. 

The store became famous for its elegant lighting, spiral marble staircases, and floor to ceiling windows, attracting customers from around the world. 

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The history of Bendel’s includes the creation of the Bendel Girl, which has been featured on hit TV shows such as Gossip Girl. Bendel closing will leave a physical imprint in New York’s iconic Fifth Avenue fashion skyline, signifying the end of an era.

At one time fashion tech Rent The Runway had a store in a store


Henri Bendel : Fashion Ghost of New Yor

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