Saturday, September 29

New York Design Stories told through the doors at Henri Bendel!

Thank you for all the good times 
and a whole lot of history 
Henri Bendel!
historic, Lalique windows at Bendel
After hearing the sad news this month that New York City department store giant Henri Bendel will soon be closing their retail doors after 123 years in business, I am nostalgic.  
Growing up, I coveted my visits to the Fifth Avenue store with its gorgeous Art Nouveau decor and glamorous dressing rooms. To me, Bendel is a New York staple, and an iconic place that will forever be imprinted in my earliest memories and idea of "Old New York" In recent years, Bendel has been my favorite "go to" place-- first for their renowned sweaters and more recently for the their fantastic, stylish hand bags and relatively reasonably priced jewelry. 
For generations, Bendel was on the cutting edge in design and fashion-- did you know they were the first to bring Coco Chanel to the United States! And, that Andy Warhol, Izak Zenou and Megan Hess were in-house illustrators at various times in the department store's history?  They can also boast the windows and facade of their landmark status building due in part because of the original Lalique windows...wow, those are some deep New York roots.
Long before Bendel was a resident in the building and in 1912, the building's owners commissioned French glass maker, RenĂ© Lalique at 714 Fifth avenue to re-create the facade of what was known as the Coty building with a beautiful work of art that stretched for three stories, as well as a a series of widows showing vines and botanica.  In 1991, Henri Bendel moved into the building and soon was given landmark status by the Landmarks Preservation Commission and due mostly in part because of this work.  Bendel restored them to their original splendor. For all these reasons and more, I will miss the iconic brown and white striped boxes and bags!
Happy Nesting
XO Tamara