Bonwit Teller - New York City, 1966



Sadly, Bonwit Teller has gone the way of many of New York's department stores (think B. Altman's, Gimbel's, and Orbach's), but at least we still have that iconic violet pattern to remind us of what once was. Not only do I remember my mother's violet-covered charge card (or charge plate as they used to be called) for "Bonwit's" as we used to call it, but I remember endless violet-covered accessories in our house (cosmetics cases, drawer-liners, etc.) and every other house in 1970s New York. (I have to admit I feel a pang of guilt writing this as I also remember rejoicing when it was announced that Galeries Lafayette would take over the vacated space.) I've heard rumblings about BT making a comeback, but in this economy that seems unlikely.

BTW, hidden in one of the ribbons on this bag, is a small marking that says: "BT1966."

16 comments:

  1. I HAVE A PIECE OF BONWIT TELLER LUGGAGE WITH VIOLETS ALL OVER!

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  2. Wow! That would be a lot of fun to see! Many thanks for visiting!

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  3. What about Arnold Constable, Best & Co., and B. Altman? This site brings back great memories of being young in New York City. A fan

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  4. What about DePinna's department store on Fifth Ave? Or the "real" Abercrombie & Fitch? I second what Anonymous said on 11.29.09. Was a huge fan of Bonwit's too.

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  6. While throwing out as much stuff as possible, I just found my Bonwit's charge card. It's at least 40 years old. Perhaps I should frame it.

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  7. Great idea! Whatever you do, don't throw it out!

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  8. Hi Anonymous...any chance you still have some of the Bonwit Teller memorabilia such as the luggage that you'd be interested in selling?
    Thanks. nsb433@yahoo.com

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  9. My grandmother used to buy me a bottle of Bonwit's own perfume "Essence of Lilac" every year. It came in a beautiful black bottle. Has anyone else ever heard of this - I can't find reference to it anywhere.

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  10. I have a pair of Christian Dior Design by Roger Vivier, that also say Bonwit Teller inside the shoe! They are hand signed & numbered with the size also! They are blk pumps with marc. detail! Anyone know anything about these shoes?
    Thanks fossvanity1@aol.com I may be interested is selling..

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  11. I have a shirt made in England by Turnbull & Asser at Bonwit Teller! The shirt is unworn and as new!

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  12. I worked at Bonwit Teller in the Shops of Bal Harbor right before they closed. What a lovely store. The elegance of those days seems to have been lost.

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    1. I worked in Bal Harbour Bonwit Teller when it opened, & stayed for just under two years, I loved it & being English the customers were lovely to me. It was a lovely place to work we had a training team from the New York branch. I was lucky enough to sell Alexandra de Markoff cosmetics alas another old company gone.

      wish I had kept my charge card and Trina bag.

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  13. I purchased one of the Christmas trees that graced the Philadelphia store when it closed. It was covered in bunches of silk violets and gold Christmas balls. I've used that tree in many a window display including those silk violets

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  14. Loved the Chicago store and was sad when it closed, anyone know where to buy their signature fragrance? I used the cologne and still remember its light, fresh scent. I too have my charge plate covered in violets.

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  15. My mother had everything....the design was just so elegant. She paired it so well with various pieces. The luggage duffel bag comes to mind, I may have been 8 or so. She recently gave me the oversized scarf.

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