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Carly Hagedon

Some Like It Glam

The new Marilyn Monroe shop in Macy's Herald Square emits modernity

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Despite her tragic death 50 years ago, Marilyn Monroe’s legacy as an actress, singer and sex symbol has remained firmly planted in the minds of pop-culture-hungry Americans, transcending generations.

Channeling the late actress’s undeniable Hollywood glam, Howard Ash, owner and creative director of Howard Ash Inc. (New York), sought to develop a juniors’ department in Macy’s Herald Square (New York). “I immersed myself in everything Marilyn: from her curves and quotes to her love for glamour,” Ash says. “It isn’t a shop built of nostalgia: We took cues from her life and translated it into a modern space embodying what Marilyn would be like today.”

The resulting design exudes a sleek, modern feel – Monroe’s voluptuousness inspired curvaceous fixtures; while a mainly white color palette with splashes of hot red complements signage that features the icon’s sweetly smiling face. Curated images of the starlet are cycled on a large screen, while a reimagining of her full, ruby red lips is prominent throughout the environment, from partial, overscaled prints to hangers and props.

More direct references to the diva include scrolling filmstrip fixtures, inscribed with inspirational quotes (or “Monroe-isms”); and a nestled table modeled after her own vanity. The pink, beveled and oval display is paired with a red velvet ottoman adorned with a diamond band trim. A “runway” covered in a diamond-patterned mirror bolsters an array of white gloss mannequins, one of which emulates Monroe by striking a hands-on-hips pose. A bright red neon logo ties the Marilyn Monroe concept into a seamless package

Ash says, “I want customers to know they’re nowhere else but in the world of Monroe, and I want them to walk away being glad to know her, glad to understand her and glad to be a part of her legacy.”

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