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Michael Fisher

A good catch at Bloomingdale's



Michael Fisher, creative director for Bloomingdale's, New York City, is in an enviable position, and he isn't taking it for granted. “I am in my fantasy job,” he told VM+SD. His life is just 200 miles away, but worlds apart from his hometown of Pottstown, Pa.

The 20-year display veteran arrived in New York at the age of 17. He didn't supply the year, but threw us a clue … Studio 54 was a hot spot.

What was your first industry job?

In 1977 I did a Christmas window proposal for Fiorucci on 59th Street. I was an illustrator and was also designing T-shirts for Fiorucci. They asked me to make a window proposal and I was doing a lot of performance art at the time, so it seemed like a natural progression.

Were family and friends surprised by your career choice?


I think they were dumbfounded that I wasn't going to be an engineer.

What is your job like?

On a good day, it's the movie Auntie Mame, with Rosalind Russell; on a bad day, it's Female Trouble, with Divine.

What is the best window you ever saw?

Colin Birch's knife thrower window for Karl Lagerfeld. He mounted these rotating bull's eyes to the walls and strapped mannequins to them. They were simple, they had style, and showed off the merchandise. Colin was such an inspiration to me. He was the embodiment of style.

Are there lines you will not cross to make a statement?


Spiritual and political. Although they sometimes overlap, this is retail, not art. I like to let the merchandise make the statement.

Who do you think is the most influential visual designer working in New York City today?

Me (blush). That's a hard question because the designers I most admire are mainly in Europe … people like furniture and interior designer Marc Newson, fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck and artist Damien Hirst.

What is your favorite prop?

A mirror ball.

What prop will we never see in a Michael Fisher window?


Used furniture. I hate antiques.

What rocks your world?

The musical duo Kiki and Herb, John Waters, Courtney Love and Edith Beale (one of the reclusive, eccentric cousins of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — featured in the 1970s Maysles brothers documentary Grey Gardens).

What advice would you offer a design student?

Be passionate, be persistent, don't compromise and have fun.

If they ever made a movie about your life, who should be cast as you?

“Saturday Night Live's” Will Ferrel.

If you weren't in this industry, you'd make a perfect…

Superstar. All kidding aside–rock star.



MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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