Heartbroken Over Henri
About 15 years ago, I received a Bath & Body Works gift bag with a sample of Henri Bendel Wild Fig perfume. The following year, I traveled to New York City for the first time (from Montgomery, AL) with a visit to Henri Bendel’s Fifth Avenue flagship store high priority on my itinerary. I’ve been fortunate to travel back to NYC several times over the past 13 years, always making multiple visits to the store each trip, introducing friends and family to all things HB. The signature stripe is by far my personal favorite hallmark pattern. From coffee cups, travel accessories, to handbags and jewelry, I am a huge collector, proudly having passed on my affection for the brown & white stripes on to my 17 year old daughter. She is currently distraught at last week’s news. Who can blame her?
The HB brand created a boutique feel for a higher-end organization offering everyday, more affordable luxury. Carrying or wearing anything HB provided you membership to an exclusive sorority – big enough to be popular, still small enough to elicit wonder and intrigue. What a joy to spy the logo and pattern on both the big and small screen throughout the years. With the introduction of social media, we have been gleefully exposed to illustrations of the #bendelgirl , perfect for all occasions and 100% frame worthy. (Raise your hand if you have searched for prints on-line. Extra credit if you found them and will send me links 😊)
One of the many appeals of Henri Bendel, to me, has been the fact it wasn’t a household name. Everyone has Kate Spade, Michael Kors or Louis Vuitton. I loved having brand loyalty to an exclusive world-wide boutique. My friends and family knew exactly where to shop for any gift for me. Trips to the flagship store with my daughter (daily visits on our 1st NYC Girls’ Trip) created memories that will last a lifetime. We have framed photos of both the interior and exterior of the flagship location, as another thing I love about HB is the Art Deco style. To me, it embodies the spirit of New York – a fantastic, historically elegant dream.
Thankfully, I am headed to The Big Apple 2 more times before the official close this January. I suppose I should take the opportunity to finally purchase a signature stripe suitcase to fill with all of my final HB purchases. I should start my A-List now…