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Window watching during New York Fashion Week isn’t a bad sideshow to the runways.
The windows display current spring lines, while fashion week is for next fall, and the installations this time of year may not quite be as spectacular as at Christmas. But some retailers take them just as seriously to impress all the designers, journalists and buyers from around the world in town, as well as shoppers.
“We need to be fully engaged and engaging at this time. We optimize both the windows and the store’s interiors,” said Linda Fargo, senior vice president, fashion office and store presentation for Bergdorf Goodman. “We’re pretty jazzed about this season’s elevated sportif message, so we’re devoting our 57th Street windows to that theme. We’re also [pleased] about all the new developments at Saint Laurent Paris and Christian Dior, so naturally they’re highlighted on Fifth Avenue.”
Bergdorf’s windows introduce Anthony Vaccarello and up-and-comers like Erdem, Joseph Altuzarra and Prabal Gurung, alongside Valentino, Oscar de la Renta and Bottega Veneta. The specially designed window sets, Fargo said, adhere to Bergdorf’s way of integrating culture, art and fashion in its marketing and visuals and highlight “great moments in literature” depicting Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” and Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time.”
Bloomingdale’s windows feature Narciso Rodriguez designs, with large snake illustrations as a nod to the Chinese New Year, but seems more routine with its windows compared to Bergdorf’s or Saks Fifth Avenue.
Saks’ windows highlight the best of American and European designer collections, with 26 established and emerging designers from the spring national ad campaign and a range of sportswear, eveningwear, cocktail dresses and daywear. The backdrop is a re-creation of Ralph Pucci’s “Inflate” show, which featured his high-end mannequin collection, called Lady, and Sylvia Heisel’s big white weather balloons, for a fun, minimal and elegant look. There is also a bank of windows devoted to Saint Laurent and a window for the Marni fragrance, which Saks is launching exclusively. “This time of year, everybody is looking at what’s happening in New York, so we put our best foot forward,” said Colleen Sherin, Saks’ women’s fashion director. “The fashion week windows are a major statement.”