The Robert Bestién trademark registration was filed in 1990, citing first use in commerce as 1955. The goods were described as "leather handbags and accessories; namely, wallets." Robert Bestien Handbags & Accessories Corp., a division of Best Craft Handbags Corp., was located in this building from approx. 1978 to 1987. The handbags also went by the name of Robert Bestien Originals. For several years (approx. 1975 to 1978) Robert Bestien Originals maintained a showroom at 350 5th Ave. (the Empire State Building). This ad, which seems to show Mr. Bestién himself surrounded by handbags of his design, ran in the New York Times 5 March 1972, when Bestien was located at 39 W. 32nd St.
This is a recent sign, but attractive and somewhat unusual with the script form running vertically up the side of the building. It was painted on top of an older Ladies Hand Bags sign where only the bottom of an N at the end of the company name can still be read.
Also visible on this wall is the sign for M M Handbags with its florid M's. The Bag Lady website has a short article about MM, which stood for Morris Moskowitz, president of the company. Morris Moskowitz Corp. was located in this building for over 30 years (1952 to 1984). The stylized MM form was trademarked by Morris Moskowitz Corp., 1 East 33rd Street, Manhattan, New York, New York, January 12, 1954. Its first use in commerce is cited as 1949, and the goods are described as "pocketbooks."
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