- This is a family-owned fur business founded by Joseph Breitman in 1833. Giles Mendel, great-grandson to Breitman, took over the helm in 1981. Mendel increased the business after arriving in America and opening a retail establishment for his family under the J. Mendel name; he ended up clinching a deal with Elizabeth Arden to open fur-selling boutiques in twelve Arden salons. His continued determination to open a retail fur establishment of his own in New York resulted in Mendel designing sheath dresses as a counter-balance to the fur revolt of the 1990s. His "fur store" was overshadowed by customer demand for his elegant dresses. His first collection was shown during Fashion Week in 2004. Giles has brought a new dimension to "fur" and infused beautiful cloth garments into the J. Mendel line.
Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle.
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