Retail has never been an industry that settles with the status quo, the to-be-expected or the ho-hum. (Isn’t that why we love it?) This past holiday season was no different when it came to holiday window displays. Around the globe, retailers either ditched the standard Christmastime motifs altogether or infused a healthy dose of humor or avant-garde elements to captivate passersby. Browse the annual recap in the February 2017 issue of VMSD, and be sure to check back throughout the month of February 2017 for Parts II-V of this online review.
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Barneys New York, New York – “Love Peace Joy Project”
Barneys’ 2016 holiday windows enlisted artists to contribute concepts and designs as part of its “Love Peace Joy” theme. Artists included singer-songwriter/visual artist Nick Cave; contemporary artist Rob Pruitt; Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel of Studio Job; artist Ebony G. Patterson; comedy duo, co-creators of “South Park,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone; and award-winning animation studio We Are Prism, featuring Honnda. “Diversity has always been something that’s incredibly important to us – that was especially true in the case of selecting the artists,” said Dennis Freeman, creative director, Barneys New York, in an interview with VMSD. “It was important to us that we partner with visionaries whom have diverse viewpoints. This allows us to achieve a result that is something unique and special to each collaboration.” • Design: Nick Cave (window shown); in-house team, Barneys New York | Photography: Courtesy of Barneys New York, New York
Robinsons, Singapore – “A Magical Christmas is Not Just Wishful Thinking”
Robinsons’ windows featured star formations, inspired by the Louvre Pyramid structure by I. M. Pei, along with glittering moments such as a popping bottle of champagne and getting dressed up for an eventful party. “Being loved is not just wishful thinking at Robinsons’ magical Christmas,” says Head of VM Elizabeth Kwan, Robinsons. “Isn’t this the dream we are all living for?” • Design: Elizabeth Kwan, head of visual merchandising; Sleng Teoh, visual merchandising manager; Remy Ramli, visual merchandising manager; Lily Liew, visual merchandising manager; Silas Chong, visual merchandising manager; Joanne Sam, senior vm executive, Robinsons. Supplier: TCN Design and Contracts Pte. Ltd., Singapore | Photography: Justin Toh, Singapore
Saks Fifth Avenue (façade), New York – “Land of 1000 Delights”
A must-see destination during the holidays, Saks’ dazzled visitors with its elaborate façade lights – more than 80,000 in total – which were programmed with eye-catching candy colors and confectionery imagery to match Saks’ 2016 “candy couture” window aesthetic. Oversized sweets lined entrance archways with more than 2000 ornaments decked with color-changing LEDs, tying together the theme. • Design: Mark Briggs, evp, creative, Hudson’s Bay Co, Toronto/Saks Fifth Avenue, New York; Façade lights: Fred Schwam, ceo; Kent Fritzel, executive creative director; Stephen Worthington, creative director, American Christmas, Mount Vernon, N.Y. | Photography: American Christmas, Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Tod’s, New York – “#TodsCircus”
In its high-flying circus-themed windows, footwear and accessories brand Tod’s sought the talents of Oscar-winning production designer Dante Ferretti. Ferretti has worked on film set designs most frequently for Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, including the films “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator,” “Shutter Island,” and “Hugo,” among many others. • Design: Dante Ferretti, Academy Award-winning production designer | Photography: Richard Cadan, Fairfield, Conn.
Woodstock Market, Acworth, Ga. – “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas – 50th Anniversary”
At a time of year when commercialism is at the forefront, Woodstock Market chose “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” as its window theme to highlight the importance of love and acceptance during the holiday season. “Christmas isn't about what you get,” says Karen Bennett, lead designer and fabrication, Woodstock Market. “If you have people who love you, you already have everything.” The store’s four windows told the classic tale, each depicting a memorable scene. Polystyrene foam was the primary material used to fabricate the displays, which was hard-coated to provide stability. Animations shown on LED screens brought The Grinch’s tiny beating heart to life, as it enlarged and outgrew the frame over time. • Design: Karen Bennett, lead designer and fabrication; Cecile Steinway, lead painter and sculpture; Lisa Welty, design assistant; Pat Welty, prop assistant; Jim Welty, prop assistant; Logan Ahrens, video animation, Woodstock Market, Acworth, Ga. Suppliers: Polystyrene foam – Cellofoam, Gainsville, Ga.; set paint – Valspar Paint, Minneapolis; CNC – Bobby Mills, The Woodshop of Alabama, Hazel Green, Ala. | Photography: Jerry A. Barnes, Acworth, Ga.
- Charles Tyrwhitt, London • Design: Harlequin Design, London | Photography: Melvyn Vincent, London
- Diesel, Munich | Photography: Angelika Frank, Munich
- John Lewis, London • Design: Harlequin Design, London | Photography: Elena Rostunova / Shutterstock Inc.
Embracing Whole-Brained Thinking in the Design Journey
Strategy needs creative, and creative needs strategy—yep, having both is really the only way of unifying all disciplines with a common vernacular with an eye toward building a strong creative vision that is foundational to the processes. Hear from Bevan Bloemendaal, former VP, Global Environments & Creative Services at Timberland, how to connect the dots between disciplines, claiming and creating a clear differentiation for the brand and ensuring that any asset (experience, product, ad, store, office, home, video, game) is created with intention.
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