[Fashion & Styling] Henri Bendel, Calling All Designers!

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iconic HB brown/white stripes and fashion illustrations

the first luxury retailer on upper Fifth Avenue

striped interior

line at the now semiannual Open See

In what is a well-known cut throat industry, there is a beacon of light for all designers come October.  Unless you live in New York and are in the fashion related industry, most people aren't aware of this free admission, open to anyone opportunity. That's right, I'm talking about the legendary Henri Bendel Open See, a designer casting call where all enthusiastic new or established designers are given equal opportunity to get in front of a HB buyer to sell their lines.  It's an exciting semiannual event, usually happens in March and October (it used to be every 3rd Thursday each month).  Be sure to get on their email list so you don't miss the announcement of exact dates.  

In the past, lines are wrapped around the entire block of 55th St. and Fifth Avenue.  On a first come first serve basis, eager designers start as early as 4 am even though doors don't open until 9 am.  

  • As long as you're in line before 12 pm, you'll most likely be seen.
  • The average face time you have with the buyers are 5-15 minutes. 
  • Bring your lookbooks, linesheets and production quality samples (no conceptual pieces or sketches)
  • You must be prepared to begin selling your line the next day if selected by the buyers.  
Open See has launched lasting careers of numerous designers, including Todd OldhamAnna SuiPamela DennisColette Malouf, and many more.  Who knows, you could be next!  Not for nothing, you'll get invaluable honest feedback from buyers that could improve your future collections.  

I should mention that Henri Bendel has seemingly taken a new direction with their product offering.  They no longer carry designer apparel (deep sigh), and seem to focus solely on contemporary accessories, beauty, and gifts. 

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