Henri Bendel's Open See

by - 10:10 PM

Survival of the Fittest: Henri Bendel's Open See
Designers are amazing talented people. Not only are they creative and see things in the own perspective, but they work very hard to get their product out there. The dedication that goes along with being a designer is limitless and I give them so much credit.

Henri Bendels Open See is a very big day for many accessory designers. I mean seriously, who wouldn't want to sell at Henri Bendels? They're a very respected Accessories, Make-up and Gifts store. "Henri Bendel's is a girls Playground". If you are big on Accessories then Bendel's is the place to be! They're always trying to refresh their look with the next big thing. You find phenomenal top notch merchandise in there.

I have been to 3 of there open see's. Some people camp out over night to be first in Line. Others wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning to head out. There will be A LOT of people in line if you wake up late. They usually start taking 20 at a time starting at 9:00 a.m. Here are some tips I find helpful from my own personal experience.

You Can Never Be Too Warm: I don't know why but every time I go to an open see everyone looks like they are freezing in line. Keep in mind if you don't sleep well due to waking up early, you will be extra cold. I've seen people in coats and boots look like they're freezing. Bundle up. Believe me, I know.

Bring Something to Sit On: If you get there at 5 in the morning, you won't want to be standing till 9. I would recommend either a small stool or some sort of small sheet. You can always sit on your luggage if you have one or a canvas bag. If you are wearing black, I wouldn't recommend sitting on the floor.

Have Everything in Order: After you make a line for hours you will probably get a max of about 5 minutes usually to talk to a buyer. This is understandable because they probably see hundreds of people. You DO NOT want to spend minutes organizing stuff on a table. Try to have some sort of system where you can pull out your stuff in place and start talking.

You Should Bring Food: I usually try to bring pretzels or peanuts of something easy to eat. I would try a bagel or sandwich, maybe even a thermos with coffee. You won't want to be running to the store all the time.

Be Confident: You should have the mind set of "You need my stuff at Bendel's". Give the buyers a reason why you deserve this and what you and your line could offer to Henri Bendel's. Don't doubt yourself because it will only make you nervous and being nervous will lead to you messing up and forgetting things while talking to a buyer.

Make Friends with your Neighbors in Line: This comes in handy for a few reasons. You might have to go to a store and you can ask them to watch your stuff for a few minutes. Another reason is IT KILLS TIME to talk. Maybe I'm just impatient but I love making time fly. Lastly you never know who you're talking to. Whoever you meet might have great tips for you or inspire you to do something.

Be Positive: I'm saying this because you shouldn't attract negative energy. This to me goes for everything I do in life.

Entertain Yourself: This goes out especially to those individuals who go alone. Make sure your phones and I-pods are charged. Take extra batteries. Being bored will make the wait feel like forever.

Be Nice and say Thank You NO MATTER WHAT: Okay, Okay, I totally understand, your pissed. You waited in line for hours just for someone to tell you "This is not for us" This is too edgy, childish, ordinary, crazy, loud, boring or this is "Not Bendel's" whatever the case may be. Even if they tell you this is not what we're looking for you should NEVER give them attitude or be nasty etc. and I really mean NEVER. You are creative, you are a designer, BUT at the end of the day THIS IS A BUSINESS. You might see these people again and you would be surprised at the things people remember. You don't want to be remembered as the "sore loser" Not only that, but if you don't make it the first time you should try again and again. Often you might see the same person you dealt with last time. It's unfortunate if you don't make it, but they have a job to do also. Say thank you for your time, smile, and leave gracefully.

Well those are my tips. If any one thinks I could add something feel free to leave it on my comment box. I hope some of you find this helpful. Don't ever give up!

Look out for gla.MAR.ous in a Spring Trunk Show at Henri Bendel soon.

Xo Nubia Xo

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  1. this never happens here in Kenya but its good and sound advice! http://www.fashionablenotebook.blogspot.com

  2. I've never been to Bendel's because we don't have it Canada, but one day I'd love to go.

  3. Thank you so much for this post! I'm looking to attend next year's open-see and of course I'm a little nervous. I do have one question: Is it okay to bring a guest with you? Thank you again and I love your head bands!

  4. Hi Anonymous

    It's natural to be nervous I was also as I did the speaking.

    I am actually not the designer I help her sell her product. I'm her Account Executive.

    It is fine to bring a person I actually reccomend it. One reason because sometimes it's a long wait and it's good to have company. Another reason is because they can help you set the table up (time is very limited with the buyers, you dont want to waste it organizing)
    If your guest is a person that knows about your product they can help you talk and maybe even fill in anything you might have forgotten. Just be very informative but fast and try to relax.. People can usually tell when someone is tense lol. Always say thank you no matter what, like I mentioned above you might see these people again.

    Hope this helped a little and good luck!!


  5. Thanks so much for this information, incredibly helpful as I get ready for the March '11 Open See! If you are to be picked, how quickly are you expected to fill orders? Do you need to have a certain amount of inventory on hand to be chosen?

    Thanks so much

  6. Hello!
    I was SOOO thrilled to read the post of go-see above..
    I have been trying to no avail to search for information on what to bring..
    Do you need to have your line selling in other stores for them to consider you? As Rachel had written, do you need to have inventory on-hand for them to purchase, or can you just show first samples (protos)..
    Also, what is the time frame for getting goods to them if they do write an order?
    ANY advise, tips, etc would be much appreciated..
    OBSESSED wth the headbands too! CONGRATS!
    Oh, before I forget..last thing....
    I noted the mention of tables above...do you need to bring a folding table of sorts, or can you just bring merchandise in suitcases?
    Again, ANY tips would be so appreciated!
    Rachel..hope to meet you in line!!!

  7. Jodi, Let me know if you hear any additional information! Right now I really only have prototypes, all handmade...so Im not sure what to do! Hope to see you there! Ill be in hair accessories :)


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Xo Nubia