The End of an Era: Henri Bendel Is Shutting Down

After 123 years of being in business, Henri Bendel is closing their doors for good as the New Year roles in. The iconic luxury brand is known for its brown and white striped shopping bags & products, while also being “Gossip Girls” Blair Waldorf’s favorite store. The beloved luxury brand by celebrities and NYC locals first announced in September by L Brands, (parent company of Henri Bendel) that they will be closing all of their stores in January. They issued a statement saying “We are committed to improving performance in the business and increasing shareholder value.”

Leslie Wexner, chairman and CEO of L Brands, said in a statement, “As part of that effort, we have decided to stop operating Bendel, to improve company profitability and focus on our larger brands that have greater growth potential.”

This has saddened many fans of the designer including myself. Many fans have been shopping at Henri Bendel for years when they were still selling designer clothing. However, Henri Bendel has downsized to accessories and home goods only.

When I heard that they will be shutting their doors, I knew that I had to visit their flagship on 5th Avenue at least once before they close for good. Knowing that Henri Bendel is an iconic designer who’s been in business for almost as long as French designer, Louis Vuitton, I knew I had to buy something as sentimental remembrance of the luxury brand.

I recently went to the store and it looked very classy inside (and very busy). Beautiful Christmas displays were scattered throughout the store including a tall tower of Henri Bendel boxes mimicking a Christmas tree when you walk in. There were also tons of jewelry, wallets and handbags at every price point displayed throughout the store.

Photo Courtesy of Sonia Anand

When I was shopping around, it made me quite sad to see that this beautiful place will be closing in less than two months. Visiting the store is what legitimized their closing for me. While it will sadly be the end of the Henri Bendel era, it will not be forgotten! They have been in business for over a century and there will be loyal customers who will pass down their products for future generations to hold. I see Henri Bendel being an iconic fashion legacy for many years to come.

This will be a great place to shop for holiday presents because of the very near closure and because Henri Bendel does have some great deals right now! One of my friends recently purchased a leather card holder from the store that was only $38! Henri Bendel’ products are what every fashion lover will cherish for the Holidays. They will continue to bring new merchandise out until mid December. If you are interested in visiting the flagship store or any of their other locations, a sales associate who assisted me said all of their stores will be closing on January 20th. Henri Bendel will always be an iconic luxury brand that I’ll remember for years on end.