Google Winter Wonderland

Google is courting the worlds of fashion, retail and virtual reality with a new first that is a feast for the eyes.

This holiday season, Google has created a project featuring New York’s holiday windows in a virtual tour of 17 window displays. The company stitched together high-resolution photos to create a lifelike panorama that viewers can move to get a full, 360-degree view. Viewers can also listen to audio guides from the stores’ creatives.

Participating stores include ABC Carpet and Home, American Girl, Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Burberry, Fendi, Henri Bendel, Lord & Taylor, Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co. and Tory Burch.

The project, created by Google Shopping, is called “Winter Wonderland” and viewers can browse on a phone, web site or — and here’s Google’s hope — on a Google-made VR device. These include Google Cardboard, its free foray into the space, or its newly released Daydream View, the new $79 headset. Both work with a smartphone.

In a post sharing the details, Google emphasized that not all shoppers can join the five million or so who travel to Manhattan for the holiday season but that the project was an effort to expand the viewership of the extravagant holiday windows.

“Our Tiffany windows, which this holiday feature sparkling scenes of New York, are already a destination for many around the world,” said Richard Moore, vice president of creative visual merchandising at Tiffany & Co. “We didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to partner with Google to share our iconic windows as digital content for all to enjoy.”

At Michael Kors, for example, the process of designing and producing the holiday windows takes approximately one year. This year is the first time the brand included movement in the display, and it dedicated two windows at its Rockefeller Center location to the Michael Kors Access smartwatch, which uses Google-powered Android software.

Google is also continuing its support of physical shopping as it woos digital advertisers. In the experience, viewers can visit a Google Shopping “gift window” to find presents, or within its retailer’s view, can click a link to the retailer’s web site.

This is the second time this week the search engine giant has invested in a fashion-friendly, VR project. Google and Rag & Bone teamed to create a six-minute VR documentary, sponsored by Google and produced by VR firm Two Bit Circus. The documentary gives an inside look at the brand during New York Fashion Week, and was created in part to show that VR can be both chic and approachable.