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This week, we are going to talk about a fashion icon from here in Lafayette whose fashion line lasted until 2019: Henri Bendel.
Henri Bendel was born in Vermilionville, now Lafayette, in 1868. He was born into a Jewish family and was an active member of the Jewish Temple here in Lafayette. He opened a millinery shop in Houma, Lafayette, and eventually in New York City. The brand later became Henri Bendel, Inc., which until 2019 was known for its line of handbags and jewelry. In 1927, he acquired 180 acres of land on the Vermilion River in Lafayette, which was known as Walnut Grove Plantation, but today is known as the Bendel Gardens Subdivision.
More information on Henri Bendel can be found in Special Collection in:
- Collection 533, Jeanette Plauché Parker, Bendel Gardens Collection, which includes her research notes on her book, Bendel Gardens: An Historic Treasure in Lafayette, Louisiana
- Collection 207, Jewish Temples of Southwest Louisiana Records
- Bendel Gardens: An Historic Treasure in Lafayette, Louisiana, by Jeanette Plauché Parker
- Henri Willis Bendel, 1868-1936: An Appreciation, by Frances Anderson
- Henri Bendel: from Louisiana obscurity to fame as a fashion authority and bon-vivant icon, by Sally Robbins
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Fun Fact Friday is brought to you by Special Collections.