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Eric Feigenbaum

Barbie Goes to Bloomingdale’s

The renowned New York-based retailer celebrates the movie “Barbie” in its Lexington Avenue windows

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Photography: Matthew Carasella

THE EXCITEMENT IS building as “Barbie” comes to movie screens across the country – and to Bloomingdale’s iconic windows on Lexington Avenue in New York City. According to Leigh Ann Tischler, Director Window Design & Special Interior Events for Bloomingdale’s, “The overall message in our windows is about ‘Barbie’ at Bloomingdale’s and her ‘best day ever!’ It is about our private label AQUA collaboration with Mattel/Barbie and her ‘best closet ever!’ as one window depicts. It’s about happiness and fun.”

The window unveiling is timed with the movie debut, July 21. The storyboard consists of six vignettes with three viewpoints: straight on, and then right and left angles adding up to 18 pages. The Bloomingdale’s production shop produce in-scale renderings to nail down the scale, including a front view, a plan view and a few elevations, with all the windows in a row.

Barbie Goes to Bloomingdale’s

Photography: Matthew Carasella

 

The window designs were approached as avant-garde interpretations of the movie.  “Nothing is realistic,” says Tischler. “Everything was abstracted from the real imagery. For example, the car was altered, her vanity was abstracted and instead of using the Barbie ‘B’ we used our Bloomingdale’s ‘b font’ with its lower case b. We did keep the colors true to the branding in both the windows and ‘The Carousel Shop’ on our main floor, which features a reimagined Barbie dream house.”

Most of the film collateral came through Mattel including the colors, the scenes that were important to them, and the taglines for each window such as “Best day ever!” The Bloomingdale’s team then presented Mattel with a set of renderings that were also shared with Warner Bros. filmmakers for their approval.

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“It was a very tedious process because we also needed to maintain our Bloomingdale’s branding alongside Barbie’s identity,” says Tischler. “We all agreed most everything should be very shiny and have a ‘toyetic’ feeling.”

The use of color was an integral component of the design solution as Barbie was resplendent in pinks, yellows and teals seen throughout Barbie Land. “We really only used four main colors,” says Tischler.  “Two shades of pink, a light and a dark, a yellow and a teal. We added a few other colors depending on the window story in terms of grass, sky and water.

Each window features one or two abstract mannequins rather than realistic interpretations of Barbie. One mannequin in the dance party scene has a metallic pink paint finish while the rest are a shade of white.  All the fashion is from Bloomingdale’s AQUA collaboration, and the mannequins are strategically positioned to complement each story.

The first window is Barbie’s closet in her dream house with shelves showing Barbie’s favorite pieces and her outfit of the day that is always waiting for her.  The mannequin is positioned in the center. The next window displays Barbie’s car, which consists of a sculpted car’s back end and two nu-neon palm trees. The third window in the sequence is a beach scene in Barbie Land complete with sand, surfboards and a lifeguard station silhouette. A nu-neon palm tree completes the look.

Barbie’s vanity, consisting of a larger-than-life mirror and a few lamps, is the focal point of the next window. Window five is a block disco dance party with a pink metallic seated mannequin on a spinning Bloomies’ “b.” The last window completing the story is a pool scene outside of Barbie’s dream house featuring a slide, umbrella and abstracted chaise lounge.

Each window setting is grounded with a digital video wall. The videos are made in-house to depict a specific scene corresponding with a moment in Barbie’s journey throughout the film. “We went for an interpretation, not too literal as nothing was copied exactly,” says Tischler.  “This kept some mystique of the film and entices people to shop the collaboration with Mattel and our private label AQUA collection, as well as patron the cinema.”

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The bank of windows welcomes the viewer into Barbie Land, compelling them to indulge in the dazzling styles, pinkest pinks, and sparkling accessories of Barbie’s fabulous fashion and style.

The overarching message: You too can get “Barbie”–inspired fashion straight from the silver screen to your very own closet.


WINDOW DESIGN TEAM: 

Leigh Ann Tischler
Laurent Kurz  – Bloomie’s Window Team
Gina Mercatili – Bloomie’s  Window Team
Todd Mario Voth  – Bloomie’s Window Team
Alex Romero – Bloomie’s  Window Team
Gerardo Felix – Bloomie’s Window Team
The Bloomingdale’s Carpenter Team
Alfonso Suarez – Freelance renderings
Shopcat – prop production
Fully Design – prop production
Show Me A Sign – printing and freelance car installation

Photography: Matthew Carasella

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