Not too long ago, The Limited (Limited Brands) bought Henri Bendel, and has expanded the store outside of NYC. The new stores, in shopping centers around the US, carry primarily handbags and jewelry and small accessories that epitomize the Henri Bendel brand. Just 2 months ago, Houston, TX received their first of these new chains in their Galleria Mall.
Since the Limited acquisition there have been complaints as to their NY mainstay about how the brand has suffered since the drop of their clothing line. Others have commented that the brand is not the quality it was before.
How did you come to the concept of a store that sells only American designed and manufactured goods?
It was important for us to find a concept that was engaging not only on the superficial, fun, interacting-with-nice-design level, but in a community based, positive change way, too. I’ve always felt as a designer that the most important thing you can do is give legs to something you believe in fundamentally, and improve your community in the process.
Selling American-made products is a nice way to improve the quality of goods in my country, as well as improve the quality and integrity of goods available to my neighbors. It’s an idea that we as people wanted to see implemented, so we went ahead and did it ourselves.
Each item is hand-picked; how do you choose what you will include in your collection?
We travel to different parts of the country and meet with designers. We do a lot of research on each brand, and try to find brands that have a large amount of integrity, as well as a unique take on making and selling products. From that point on, it’s just a combination of a good eye and product availability.
What can we hope to see at Settlement Goods in the near future?
We’re always adding interesting new brands and products to the store. Beyond that, a goal for all of us is making a difference in how people in Houston think about the things they buy. You’ll see more outreach in that area as we expand.
Thank you for your kind words! I learned how to shoot on film, and my first camera was an old, Minolta X-700. When digital cameras started coming out in DSLRs, I started shooting with a Nikon D200 (quite out of date by today’s standards). I now shoot with a Canon 5D MK III. I highly recommend the Canon 5D series, and you can probably find an older version, a MKII at a serious discount now!
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Counselor at the Houston Area Women’s Center
Who is your style icon?
Bettie Page, of course!
What inspires your style the most?
Anything with a retro, atomic age feel… I like unique items that feel sexy but are simple and classic all the same
Media Production Student
What things inspire your personal style?
My mood every morning. My emotions lead me to my closet to choose specific clothes for that day. I dress in black more than any other color. However, lately I’ve been feeling gray and sometimes pink. One of my fun colors to wear is electric blue.
Who is your style icon and why?
I love Felice Fawn, I like her general outlook and her personal style.
Does music ever inspire what you wear?
Yes, music sets the tone for many things in life for me, including on more than rare occasions, what I wear. Whether it be another artist that I am listening to or a song that I have written, music has the ability to set a mood, a tone. So when I am listening to something, which I usually am, my style will reflect that. From edgy to refined; from Coroner to Schubert.
What’s your favorite accessory and why?
I am truly reticent when it comes to picking so-called favorites, but I do own, and to a great extent cherish, an old faux gold Timex watch that I have had for quite some time. It has long since faded and is more than an hour off depending on whether time is supposedly being rolled back or forward during the year. It has an alarm that goes off at the same moment everyday for about fifteen seconds. I care not to change any of those things because it is simple, it wears well with anything, never fails to receive a compliment (sometimes to my surprise), it is consistent and it has never stopped working.
Where can we hear your music?
Tony & Jru Ibe
Mechanical Engineering Students/ Models
What fashion tip would you give guys to pull together any street style fast?
Tony Wear whatever looks good in your eyes, throw it together with something unique and rock it! The more funky, the better.
Jru I’d tell them to wear clothing that brings the hip out of them and to just be yourself.
What designer’s men’s fashion line are you dying to wear, and why?
We both dream of modeling for Express & Forever21! Express has a unique fashion sense, and we like that Forever21 is a Christian company.
What designer inspires you the most? Why?
I’m not one to follow specific designers, but I have developed a raging Jeffrey Campbell obsession! (Why?) Mainly because I find it more practical as well as more my personal style to splurge on great shoes, and secondhand unique/inexpensive pieces for clothing. You can make cheap clothes look great, but cheap shoes will never look, feel, or hold up like expensive ones.
What accessory can you absolutely not live without?
I’m not sure if I have a trademark accessory, but I’ve always loved wearing feathers in my hair, experimenting with handmade hair extensions, and choker type necklaces.
*Hair and make-up courtesy of Angel Jagger