CHRISTMAS CAT: Milan’s La Rinascente department store turned to California artist Anthony Ausgang to add a new, modern spin to its Christmas windows. And they are hard to miss, with Ausgang’s oversize and colorful cat cartoon characters intent on shopping for Christmas gifts — one in a giant shoe-on-wheels. “Art is a universal language and I see these windows as a way to democratize art,” said Ausgang, whose works are inspired by a mixture of pop and street culture, and his passion for cartoons and Fifties illustrations.

“I am very proud of these windows, it’s not common to see the works of artists in the windows of a department store, so the future is now,” said La Rinascente chief executive officer Vittorio Radice.

This story first appeared in the December 23, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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