There is nowhere quite like New York City during the holiday season. Though it ushers in a swell of tourists and crowds, it also brings magical holiday traditions like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, holiday markets brimming with charming handmade goods, and magnificent window displays. Every year the city’s biggest stores, Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue and more, pull out all the stops to create spectacular storefront displays. Designers, artists, and craftsmen work for months to make every detail of the intricate displays perfect. This year, stores pulled inspiration from a variety of sources like classic Christmas stories, nature, and new movies. Check out 9 window displays to see this holiday season in New York City:
1. Macy’s Herald Square
As per tradition, the windows at Macy’s Herald Square tell the classic story of Virginia and her letter to the NY Sun, but some windows also feature a new story and character, Sunny the Snowpal. Six of Macy’s windows will follow the adventures of the astronaut Sunny as she travels with her friends, through space, to save Christmas. Sunny’s adventure starts on Earth and then takes to the stars as she tries to catch up to Santa’s magic sleigh and helps him out get back to delivering presents when his sleigh hits a snag. The Believe in the Wonder of Giving display even features an interactive video game where spectators can steer Sunny through space. Macy’s was the first department store to feature Christmas window displays and has been continuing the tradition since 1874. The first animated windows appeared in 1899.
2. Bergdorf Goodman
Bergdorf Goodman’s window displays are extra sweet this year. Each window in the Bergdorf Goodies display is dedicated to a different kind of holiday treat, be it cotton candy, gingerbread, chocolate, or cake. From start to finish, talented teams of artists and craftsmen spent ten months conceptualizing, creating and installing the window displays. While they may look good enough to eat, the displays are completely made up of fake food convincingly crafted to imitate the real thing.
3. Henri Bendel
The 2018 holiday season marks the last for Henri Bendel’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue. The store’s windows feature a multidimensional, brown-and-white New York City skyline designed by fashion illustrator Izak Zenou. Inside the store stands a 20-foot tree surrounded by over 400 brown and white gift boxes and topped with a red neon heart, also designed by Zenou.
4. Saks Fifth Avenue
This year Saks Fifth Avenue teamed up with Broadway Cares and Equity Fights AIDS, two industry-based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations, to create a spectacular holiday window unveiling performance. Theater of Dreams, an ode to the grandeur of the stage, will feature over one hundred Broadway dancers ushering in the theater-inspired 10-story-tall light show and holiday window displays. The 2018 windows will feature, for the first time, digital storytelling animation incorporated into the traditional product filled vignettes. The story will follow a shopper’s visit to the theater where she dreams of shopping trip at Saks. Each window will present a different scene made up of real-life props and digital screens that place the shopper at Saks’ famous shoe floor, beauty floor, and other dreamy departments.
Theater of Dreams will be performed on Monday, November 19th at 7:00p.m. You can watch live or stream it at Saks.com. The holiday light show and windows will be on display until January 2nd.
5. Tiffany and Co.
Tiffany & Co.‘s 2018 holiday window display takes you behind-the-scenes with Tiffany’s “holiday hero,” a chrome drawing figure first seen in windows created by Gene Moore for the store in the 1960s. The hero is posed in a variety of whimsical holiday construction scenes where he is completing tasks like building a robot made of Tiffany Blue Boxes or putting jeweled accents on gingerbread men. The windows all feature variations on the iconic Tiffany blue with pops of florescent colors to make the homage to Moore’s design feel modern. Scattered throughout the scenes are sparkling pieces of Tiffany jewelry from the company’s iconic jewelry collections. Richard Moore, the divisional vice president, says the creation of the window displays “takes more than a year, from concept to execution.”
Going beyond just decorating the windows, the entire building of Cartier’s Fifth Avenue store is wrapped in a giant bow in the company’s signature red. The shining red ribbon stretches across the entire 52nd street and Fifth Avenue facades while festive garlands outline all of the ground floor windows. The building Cartier is housed in was originally built in 1905 as a gilded age mansion for Morgan Freeman Plant, son of the railroad tycoon Henry B. Plant.
7. Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton’s Fifth avenue window displays, Trees Around the World, are inspired by the tradition of the Christmas Tree. Each window showcases an emblematic tree from around the world, a Joshua Tree, Bonsai, Cacti and Palm Tree, all decorated with dazzling ornaments. The decorations playfully portray holiday season celebrations from around the world and also feature references to the Louis Vuitton Universe in the form of ornaments shaped like signature shoes, handbags and LV logos.
Bloomingdale’s window display this year brings to life Universal Pictures’ new rendition of Dr.Seuss: The Grinch. The windows were unveiled at a star studded event hosted by SNL’s Kenan Thompson (who voices Bricklebaum in the movie) and the voice of Ciny Lou Who, Cameron Seely. Inside the window displays you will find crystalized characters and interactive elements, like a karaoke machine built right into the window! The windows tell the story of the Grinch, from his miserly plotting to steal Christmas to his happy redemption in Whoville.
9. Tommy Hilfiger
The Tommy Hilfiger storefront has gotten a glamorous makeover for the holiday season. While the windows display the latest winter wears the entire first level of the exterior facade has been covered with silver and gold holiday ornaments. Five shiny metallic wreaths top the festive display.
Next, check out 10 Fun Facts About NYC’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree