HENRI BENDEL BRINGS HOME BACK TO FIFTH

Byline: Janet Ozzard

NEW YORK — Henri Bendel is home again.
The specialty retailer has brought back its home department, which it had phased out two years ago, and installed it on the fourth floor of its shop here at 712 Fifth Avenue. The 1,500-square-foot area wraps around Bendel’s central well and has a view of Fifth Avenue through the Lalique windows — or it will, when the windows, currently undergoing renovation at a glass center in Philadelphia, are reinstalled early next year.
Teril Turner, director of marketing and communications for the store, said that one of Bendel’s mandates for the area was to develop crossovers between its designers’ point of view and the home products, and to pick up on trends generated in apparel.
“The idea is that we’re appealing to the same customer who comes here to buy the Nanette Lepore leopard-print cocktail dress,” she said. “It’s whimsical, fun and colorful, and you could say the same thing about the whole store.” Among the current inventory are wool pillows designed by potter Jonathan Adler, bead flower napkin rings from accessories designer Deborah Rhodes and narrow-necked hand-blown vases from trendy glass designer Michael Anchin. There are small areas for baby gifts and apparel, dog gifts and canine clothes.
Like fashion, the home department will have changing themes, and one of the boutiques will be devoted to seasonal merchandise as necessary, said Turner; for example, it will house holiday items from now until the end of the year, but then revert to a general boutique.
This fall’s major trends are gold, silver and color, said Turner, as exemplified by multicolored plates made from recycled glass, or gold or silver wooden picture frames. Bendel’s wants to focus on unique items that have a handmade but sophisticated look, she said, and several new vendors were found via the store’s open-call sessions.
Prices in the new area range from $16 for a crystal champagne flute up to $1,600 for a Murano glass vase. The department will also be the focus of one of Bendel’s upcoming “Girls’ Nites,” held every Thursday this month, that brings experts from various fields into the stores to meet with customers. On Oct. 12, Wendy Goodman, interior design editor for New York magazine, will take shoppers through new trends in home design.

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