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After the announcement earlier this season that Henri Bendel would drop apparel in favor of focusing on accessories, what wasn't totally clear was that these accessories would be mainly their own private label in certain departments.
WWD covered the turning tides of Bendel back in May, and they shed some light on why Bendel's windows are now only showcasing the HB name:
Handbags are the cornerstone of the concept, which in the flagship relies on “third-party resources, but we’ll develop our own collection,” [Bendel president and ceo Ed] Bucciarelli said. 'The big story is we’re turning the store into a brand. We’re really stretching the boundaries of what accessories are with hairpieces, gloves, wellies and stationery.'
In terms of private label, the retailer has created a design team and also hopes to collaborate with designers.
So it looks like the items in their Fifth Avenue window above are a preview of what we can expect from Henri in the future, even if the $4,000 brown crocodile asymmetric clutch of theirs reminds us a lot of some Dolce & Gabbana designs of a few seasons ago.
For the most part though, pricepoints are between $150-$600. Henri Bendel is now in the business of selling the concept of shopping, covering the bags that aren't completely leather in their store branding, much like Harrod's in London enjoys doing.
· Henri Bendel [Official Site]