The extravagant window displays at Bergdorf Goodman department store on New York’s Fifth Avenue are a popular draw this time of year, and for good reason. These dazzling arrangements entice pedestrians into the store and inspire crowds to stop, snap photos, and marvel.
The store’s window artists produce hundreds of displays throughout the year, showcasing everything from Giorgio Armani dresses to Goyard totes to Manolo Blahnik footwear. For their Christmas windows—which they begin planning a year in advance—they pull out the stops.
The theme of this season’s windows is the concept “Inspired,” which the designers interpreted as a celebration of the arts. Each main window showcases a specific art: literature, theater, painting, music, dance, sculpture, film, and architecture. David Hoey, Bergdorf Goodman’s director of visual presentation, said of this season’s windows:
We look for a thematic umbrella that will give us windows that will be festive, or colorful, or snowy, or just generally festive, really. The arts is a perfect venue for that. Festivity. Just pure festivity.
A window celebrating film features mannequins in Giambattista Valli fur coats and hats in a snowy scene with sled-pulling huskies. Another display devoted to architecture shows a mannequin wearing a Julien Macdonald dress and gazing at skyscrapers made of paper and blueprints.
The artful Bergdorf Goodman windows celebrate commerce, wealth, and high-end goods. They also illustrate the benevolence of capitalism; as Iris Bell (formerly a graphic designer for Ayn Rand) who gives annual tours of decorative Manhattan department stores on Exuberant Friday, said of Bergdorf Goodman’s windows:
I love these windows as a symbol of the wealthy country we live in. They are always lovely. I love the fact that people are treated to this beauty by just walking down the street. People don't have to ever go into this store or spend a penny there, yet can enjoy all this luxury.
Merry Christmas to Bergdorf Goodman and its inspiring window designers.