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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


from a 1920s velvet dress - Courtesy of bigchief173

from a 1920s velvet dress

Courtesy of bigchief173

from a 1925/27 silk opera coat - Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com

from a 1925/27 silk opera coat

Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com

from a 1930s nightgown - Courtesy of ThreadwindTextiles

from a 1930s nightgown

Courtesy of ThreadwindTextiles

from a 1930s peignoir set - Courtesy of Karie Bible

from a 1930s peignoir set

Courtesy of Karie Bible

from a 1940s blouse - Courtesy of memphisvintage

from a 1940s blouse

Courtesy of memphisvintage

from a 1940s gabardine jacket - Courtesy of Vintage Devotion

from a 1940s gabardine jacket

Courtesy of Vintage Devotion

from a late-1940s - early-1950s evening gown - Courtesy of ebth.com

from a late-1940s – early-1950s evening gown

Courtesy of ebth.com

from an early-1950s dress - Courtesy of Ranch Queen Vintage

from an early-1950s dress

Courtesy of Ranch Queen Vintage

from a 1950s suit - Courtesy of bohms27

from a 1950s suit

Courtesy of bohms27

from an early 1960s dress - Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com

from an early 1960s dress

Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com

from a 1970s lurex top - Courtesy of Ranch Queen Vintage

from a 1970s lurex top

Courtesy of Ranch Queen Vintage

from a 1980s blouse - Courtesy of fuzzylizzie.com

from a 1980s blouse

Courtesy of fuzzylizzie.com