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Looking for Henri Bendel jewelry? Learn about the history, jewelry marks, and collectible pieces in this guide.
Henri Bendel History
Henri Bendel, a natural marketer with a passion for fashion and beauty, was born in Lafayette, Louisiana in 1868, after the Civil War. He moved to New York City in 1895 to work as a milliner and opened a hat shop in Greenwich Village that same year. He quickly gained popularity in high society due to his keen sense of couture style.
In 1895, he became the first retailer to register his own trademark. In 1907, Bendel made a groundbreaking move by branding himself as a retailer. He introduced a unique brown and white shopping bag and an in-store color palette that became as famous as Tiffany's robin-egg-blue bags.
In 1913, Bendel significantly contributed to the luxury fashion industry in the United States. He became the first luxury retailer to have an address on Upper Fifth Avenue and introduced the semi-annual sale concept, which is widely used today. Bendel also initiated the in-store makeover trend and organized the first fashion show in New York. He created his own fragrance and held promotional sales - both unprecedented for a retailer at that time. Bendel's influence in the luxury fashion industry in the United States goes beyond his product line as he transformed the way fashion was perceived and marketed.
Bendel was not only a savvy retailer, but also an exceptional designer and ardent fashion advocate. He was responsible for introducing Coco Chanel to the United States. His store showcased the newest Paris Couture as well as his own creations. Henri Bendel passed away in 1936, but his boutique continued to offer the finest Paris couture, accessories, fragrances, cosmetics, furs, hats, bridal wear, jewelry, and handbags, most of which bore the Henri Bendel logo.
Bendels, under the leadership of former fashion magazine editor Geraldine Stutz in the 1960s, was constantly evolving and coming up with new ideas. One of her most famous innovations was the "street of shops," which was a groundbreaking concept in its time. This involved creating distinct departments for various products like watches, handbags, and more, which was a forerunner to the contemporary in-store displays we see today.
One of the most recognized names associated with the Henri Bendel brand has little to do with fashion, but instead with art. Andy Warhol was discovered by Bendel and was brought on as an in-house illustrator. He went on to become a renowned artist who is still recognized worldwide. Henri Bendel gave Warhol his start in the industry.
Les Wexner, the chairman of L Brands, acquired Henri Bendel in 1985 and launched a new flagship store in 1991. During the renovation process, unique Lalique windows were discovered. With the assistance of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Henri Bendel's applied for and was awarded landmark status by the Landmark Preservation Commission.
In keeping with Andy Warhol's legacy, Bendel has maintained its focus on fashion illustration. Illustrator Izak Zenou became a member of the team in 1994 and his Bendel girl illustrations have since become synonymous with the brand and its history.
Henri Bendel went through significant changes around the start of the 21st century. During the 2000s, the company opened twenty-eight stores across the USA. However, due to changes in management and the market, the decision was made in 2009 to stop selling clothing and instead focus on more profitable ventures, such as accessories, gifts, and beauty products. Despite these efforts, the brand continued to face challenges, forcing management to make tough decisions.
Unfortunately, Henri Bendel had to close its stores in January 2019. The team shared a statement on their website, thanking customers for the love and support shown for the brand. The decision to close the stores upset many fashion enthusiasts who had been loyal to Bendel's high fashion and beauty products. The closure marked the end of an iconic fashion store era.
Henri Bendel Identification
Henri Bendel's haute couture is easily recognizable by its high-end materials, timeless silhouettes, and feminine details such as ruffles and bows. The designer was renowned for his exquisite coats, evening gowns, dresses, and handbags. Bendel was greatly influenced by French couture, which was the primary reason he opened his boutique and remained in the retail industry for many years.
He preferred various fabrics, including crepe, chiffon, jersey, taffeta, silk, satin, lace, leather, suede, cotton, wool, velvet, fur, feathers, tulle, and polyester.
He designed various popular clothing items, including coats, jackets, wraps, dresses, cocktail dresses, gowns, skirts, suits, pants, sweaters, tunics, shirts, blouses, tops, lingerie/peignoir. He also created accessories such as hats, scarves, belts, gloves, footwear, bridal wear, handbags, and cosmetic cases. In addition to his fashion offerings, he created fragrances such as Freesia, White Freesia, Lemon Verbena, 10 West, Rose Petals, Wild Fig, and Henri Bendel. He also designed jewelry, candles, dolls, and home décor.
The company's logo is "HENRI BENDEL" in an Art Deco font with "NEW YORK" in a smaller font below. The brand's colors are brown and white.
Let's look at some of our favorite vintage collectibles from Henri Bendel.
Henri Bendel New York Gold Tone Bright Orange Adjustable Cuff Bracelet
This is a vintage cuff bracelet from HENRI BENDEL NEW YORK. It comes in a gold tone and is covered in bright, neon orange prong set baguettes with clear crystals in the center. The bracelet is in mint condition, like new. It is stamped with the brand name, "Henri Bendel New York". The bracelet measures 5 inches in length with a 1 1/2 inch gap and is adjustable to fit wrists measuring 6 3/4 inches or less.
Vintage Henri Bendel Rose Gold Tone Pave Angel Wing Necklace
This is a vintage Henri Bendel rose gold tone pave angel wing necklace that is absolutely stunning. The necklace has a glittery and shimmery appearance with ethereal angel wings that make it a real eye-catcher. It comes brand new with a dust pouch and has a length of 39+8 cm. The necklace has a pendant height of 3 centimeters and a necklace length of 45 centimeters. The materials used include brass, glass, and gold, and cubic zirconia gemstones.
Henri Bendel Luxe Rose Cut Delicate Mother of Pearl Bar Bracelet
Vintage brass and silver Henri Bendel bar bracelet with rose cut mother of pearl. Lobster claw closure, adjustable length of 15.5cm + 4cm. Comes with pouch bag. Never worn.
HENRI BENDEL NY Bangle Bracelet
This vintage Henri Bendel bracelet is a classic and elegantly minimalist piece of jewelry. It features a silvertone bangle with an interesting contrast of soft cream enamel and cool silvertone metal. The oval shape of the bracelet hugs the wrist comfortably, and the goldtone Henri Bendel New York rivet clasp adds an industrial touch. The bracelet is 9.5 millimeters wide and 7 inches long.
Pomellato Chain Link and Diamond Ring
Check out this pre-owned item in excellent condition! Measuring 16 inches in length, with an additional 3-inch extender, this piece features beautifully crafted wooden elements that are perfectly complemented by lovely sea-green stones. These elements combine to create a one-of-a-kind design that's sure to turn heads and give you an elegant and distinctive look. Take advantage of this rare find!
We hope you enjoyed this article about Henri Bendel jewelry. Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions.
Happy Vintage Hunting!