Goodbye Henri Bendel | The End of a Retail Era

The news popped up on my phone this morning and I couldn’t believe it. Henri Bendel, the 123 year-old retail girl-heaven on Fifth Avenue, is closing. If you haven’t been, but you’ve heard of this emblematic department store, then I’m sure you probably first saw it in Gossip Girl. 

gossip girl


I discovered this fashion haven when I was doing an internship in New York City, during my sophomore year of college. I absolutely fell in love with this place because it was unlike any other department store I had ever seen. Even though it’s been a very long time since I last visited, I can still remember exactly what it was like. Walking into Henri Bendel was an experience in itself.

henri bendel

Photo: @henribendel Instagram

Every floor was carefully and tastefully setup to display unique accessories and garments. Discovering each section was like walking through a fashion wonderland. The hairpieces, the handbags, the shoes, the lingerie… everything seemed so special, as if you could never find anything else like it outside of this luxurious multi-level building.

henri bendel

Photo: @henribendel Instagram

Whenever I wanted to escape the tough reality of my fashion intern life, I came to Henri Bendel. I walked around, brushed my fingers over the surfaces of the gorgeous pieces on the shelves and racks, and daydreamed about how I would some day be able to afford shopping there. For those of you who haven’t been… the prices aren’t crazy, but they’re certainly pricier than anything Inditex or H&M.

henri bendel

Photo: @henribendel Instagram

It’s hard to believe that even a place like Henri Bendel is shuttering after 123 years in business, even with a very experience-focused set up on all floors. It goes to show just how difficult it is for brick-and-mortar stores to keep up in this digital age…

henri bendel

Photo: @henribendel Instagram

I think I might have to buy myself a little something from the e-commerce shop before it completely closes in early 2019.

All I can say is that you will be missed by fashion lovers all around the world Henri Bendel, thank you for offering  me a little escape into a dream world on Fifth Avenue.


#FashionEnglish lovers, os comparto vocabulario relacionado con nuestro este post de hoy. Vocabulario clave para el mundo retail: 

DEPARTMENT STORE : En España solo tenemos uno: El Corte Inglés. «Department stores» son grandes almacenes.
FASHION HAVEN : La palabra «haven» es una manera muy bonita de decir ‘refugio’. Te puedes imaginar que Henri Bendel es un ‘refugio’ para fashion lovers. 
SETUP : organización o configuración de la tienda.
DISPLAY : en una tienda, es donde están expuestos los productos. Tanto en el escaparate como dentro de la tienda. Por ejemplo «The window displays at El Corte Inglés in Nuevos Ministerios are very creative.» Pero en la frase de arriba, lo usamos como verbo «to display«, ‘exhibir’.
ACCESSORIES : complementos
GARMENTS : prendas
SHELVES : estanterías
RACKS : estantería más bien perchero… donde las prendas cuelgan en una tienda.
DAYDREAM : soñar con los ojos abiertos.
PRICEY : caro. El comparativo es «pricier«.
TO SHUTTER : cerrar puertas de un negocio permanentemente.
IT GOES TO SHOW : ‘eso demuestra’
BRICK-AND-MORTAR : palabra muy común dentro del sector para hablar de la tienda física.

¿Quieres aprender más? Pues no te pierdas la primera convocatoria de mi curso online, Introduction to Fashion English. ¡Empezamos en octubre! Sigue este enlace. Y sígueme en Instagram para descubrir mi mundo de #fashionenglish y aprender vocabulario a diario: @_fashionenglish


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