(name is legally and officially un
capitalized) are an American clothing retailer
founded in 1976
. The name came about during a discussion Manny was having with his friends about the essence of being. The group began to discuss the phrase, which inspired the name, "to be or not to be" from the play Hamlet. Manny Mashouf
, who emigrated to the United States in the early 1970s
, opened the first bebe store in San Francisco
during a time when three categories dominated the women's wear market: junior, bridge and misses. Having discovered a demographic that was neither junior nor bridge, Manny aimed to break the mold by offering this under-represented population of stylish women distinctive and inspirational fashion bearing an unmistakable hint of sensuality. His concept stuck and bebe reaped early success.
Bebe designs, develops and produces a distinctive line of contemporary women's apparel and accessories, which it markets under the bebe, bebeSPORT, and 2b bebe brand names.
Bebe stores, inc. currently operates 312 stores, of which 215 are bebe stores, 32 are 2b bebe stores, 64 are bebeSPORT stores (this includes bebe/bebeSPORT 2-in-1 stores) and 1 is a bebe accessories store. These stores are located in the United States
, the District of Columbia
, Puerto Rico
, the U.S. Virgin Islands
. bebe also has an international division in Lebanon