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Henri Bendel was my first fashion job out of college. They hired me as a “stylist”. That was how they referred to their  salespeople bc we were tasked with styling” our clients’ wardrobe based on their current and previous purchases and preferences.  

There was a restaurant. And a beauty salon.  And MAC cosmetics. All perfectly situated on the mezzanines of this historic 5th ave townhouse.

It was full service luxury fashion. 

And the designers!!!! We had what was considered “young designers” like Anne Demeulemester and Issey Miyake. We had to wear blazers with every look or a suit EVERYDAY. We had to wear the designers that were in the store and your grooming had to be impeccable! Tailoring and messenger service was expected and I still have clothes that I bought then because the quality was unmatched. 

Bendels is far from this now. Very. Sad to see it go but also must say I saw it coming. They wandered way too far from what separated them from any other departmentalized specialty store.

RIP Henri Bendel. 

Those brown and white stripes will be missed.