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Lord & Taylor’s Water World

Lord & Taylor will demonstrate its splashier side when it unveils its summer windows and catalogue on April 12.

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Image from L&T's upcoming summer book shot at the Georgia Aquarium. Here: Laundry by Shelli Segal.

WWD Staff

Lord & Taylor will demonstrate its splashier side when it unveils its summer windows and catalogue on April 12.

The windows will celebrate the Georgia Aquarium, where the store’s summer catalogue of swimsuits, sportswear and dresses was photographed. Lord & Taylor is erecting a plasma video wall along its Fifth Avenue bank of windows, between 38th and 39th Streets, showing footage of the fashion shoot. The windows will be themed “Lord & Taylor Makes Waves.” The store also will install a giant graphic from the catalogue on the arch above the flagship’s main entrance.

There’s a dreamy quality to the photography, with models leaning against, or prostrate on, the ledges of the deep blue glass tanks filled with colorful fish. The photography is by Ambrosi, the advertising agency that executes L&T’s direct-mail pieces.

“On a recent trip to Atlanta, I toured the aquarium and was so overwhelmed by its beauty, magnitude and the generosity of Bernie Marcus’ gift that I wanted to bring it to New York,” said LaVelle Olexa, L&T’s senior vice president of advertising, sales promotion and public relations.

Marcus, the founder of The Home Depot, contributed $250 million to the $290 million cost of building the aquarium, which is the world’s largest. It opened in 2005 and has five galleries depicting different habitats, from tropical to arctic, and 500 different species swimming in more than 8 million gallons of water. “For a few weeks, our block on Fifth Avenue will be converted to a veritable aquarium with stunning images of marine life,” Olexa said.

“A lot of people wouldn’t necessarily think of the aquarium as a location for a high-fashion shoot, but the size of our aquarium and the large scale of our exhibits provide a lot of room to play with photography,” said Meghann Gibbons, p.r. manager for the Georgia Aquarium, located at 225 Baker Street. There are a couple of restrictions, however, she noted. “There are only a couple of animals inside that are sensitive to light, and we can’t have hot lights by our windows because they are acrylic.”

As Lord & Taylor continues a multiyear overhaul of its assortments, the store windows reflect the updating and are becoming more daring. They often demonstrate how fashion connects to other sides of our culture, whether art, antiques, animal life, music or the human condition, and have incorporated the latest in visual technology.

This story first appeared in the March 7, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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