There’s no other place in the world that does Christmas as well as New York City does. From the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to the lighting decorations, December in New York City is a magical time of year. But there’s one tradition that truly defines the holiday season in the Big Apple: the window displays at some of 5th Avenue’s most famous stores like Saks Fifth Ave, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and many more.
This annual tradition has long been an inherent part of the holiday season. Every year, lengthy lines snake along Fifth Avenue and beyond, filled with tourists and locals waiting to view the animatronics at Macy’s or the crystal-garnished sculptures at Bergdorf Goodman.
This tradition was born at the turn of the century when department stores in several US cities amped up window displays in an attempt to charm window shoppers into actually coming into the store. These tactics proved successful, especially during the holiday season when stores cranked it up a notch, transforming windows once simply reserved for stores’ wares into more intricate installations that had less to do with advertising and more to do with crafting something purely decorative; nowadays, New York’s famed department stores and haute couture stores carry on this tradition.
When we admire these true art installations sometimes we think about the amount of work and effort that needs to realize them, but maybe we don’t realize the amount of work hidden behind each window design display. To realize these window displays, there are specialized companies with entire teams of drafters, designers, sculptors, carpenters, metal workers, project managers. Personally, as an interior designer, I have the luck to work for one of the best companies that work in this field in the city of New York and has worked with the biggest fashion brands in the world for years. But the peculiarity of these window displays is the fact that, besides being almost sculptural works, they are real works of design and engineering, because the designers have to find new solutions to make it realizable, stable and aesthetically beautiful, that is that the customer suggests.
In fact, many times the idea of the composition of the showcase comes from the client, who proposes attractive, original and sometimes even unreliable designs. So the task of the designer and the design team is to satisfy the client’s wishes while keeping fidelity with his concept, but at the same time finding constructive and constructive solutions that are always different and suitable for different designs and materials. The fascinating thing about the window shop industry is that you constantly have to find new and original solutions along with new and different materials and designs for each unique window; basically each project is a new challenge and a new experimental way to design and engineer.
Behind every window display that you see not just in New York but all over the biggest cities in the world, therefore, there is a work of engineering, as well as an accurate construction that sometimes lasts even a few months, which involves several dozen people with different skills that eventually manage to create a beautiful and effective design piece of art.