Bonwit Teller was a high quality ladies apparel store, founded by Paul J. Bonwit (1862-1939). Born in Germany, Bonwit moved to the US in 1883, working in New York and Nebraska before returning to New York and joining Rothschild & Company. By 1897, he became partners with Edmund D. Teller and by 1911 their store was located on 5th Avenue.
In the 1920s and 1930s they carried French models, including duplicates of Lanvin, Patou, Vionnet and Maggy Rouff, custom mades, and American-made garments including designs by Nettie Rosenstein. They were noted for the quality of their merchandise and the salaries they paid.
In 1930, Floyd Odlum brought needed capital to the company, and in 1934, Bonwit sold out to Odlum. His wife Hortense Odlum became the first woman president of a major department store in the US. Since 1946, Bonwit Teller was owned by the Hoving Corporation, Genesco, Allied Stores Corporation and finally the Hooker Corporation in 1987. In May 1990, Donald Trump demolished the Fifth Avenue store in order to make room for the Trump Tower, and the firm of Bonwit Teller no longer was in business.
Written by ikonicvintage and pastperfectvintage.com