Bloomingdale's holiday windows with Out of This World theme“Out of This World” holiday windows at Bloomingdale’s. Photo courtesy Bloomingdale’s

It’s the “most wonderful time of the year!” New York City’s department stores and luxury stores go all out and try to one-up their holiday windows from last year and their competitors this year. Every year the city’s biggest stores, Macy’sBergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and more, pull out all the stops to create spectacular holiday window displays. Designers, artists, and craftsmen work for months to make every detail of the intricate displays perfect.

Many retailers take it beyond the holiday windows now, sometimes designing decoration that takes over their whole flagship store. What’s your favorite?

1. Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman, the department store on Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th streets always has some of the most artistic and luxurious holiday windows, in line with its design ethos catering to city’s most fashionable clientele. This year’s theme is “Bergdorf Good Times,” which “evokes a time-honored spirit of a holiday fête but with a twist” according to the department store.

It takes almost a year from conception to completion, with David Hoey, Senior Director of Visual Presentation at Bergdorf Goodman and his team of artisans using materials like Italian mosaic tile, neon lighting, needlecraft, embellished surfaces, and more to create a dazzling mini world within each window.

2. Saks Fifth Avenue “Frozen 2”

All photos courtesy BFA for Saks

Saks Fifth Avenue has its windows in honor of the new animated films Frozen 2.  The main six windows along Fifth Avenue show Elsa, the main character of Frozen, as she moves through four spirits of nature- wind, fire, water and earth. Other favorite characters that appear int he windows are Olaf, Kristoff and Anna. The reveal event featured a performance by Idina Menzel, the voice of Elsa.

More Frozen 2 themed activations are inside the store, with an Enchanted Forest Experience on the ninth floor which will be up until December 24th. The Saks Fifth Avenue windows, along with the full building facade light show, will be up until January 2nd.

3. Bloomingdale’s “Out of This World”

All photos courtesy Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale’s theme this year is “Out of This World Holiday Windows” with a futuristic UFO theme. The opening event involved performers dressed in NASA space suits, performances by John Legend and the National Children’s Chorus, and more.

4. Macy’s “Believe in the Wonder”


The Macy’s Herald Square windows this year are themed “Believe in the Wonder” and designed by Macy’s National Director of Window Presentation Roya Sullivan. Six windows take the visitor on a journey with “Santa Girl” as she takes in the spirit of the holidays. Sullivan has used a wide range of materials including LED Lights, lacquer, 3D printed objects and chrome parts, and visitors can look in and touch some of the decorations, including the nose of Willow the dog!

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.

5.  Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton holiday decorations 2019 on Fifth Avenue

Louis Vuitton has been taking full advantage of its corner location on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street for large-scale art installations and this year’s holiday decoration is pretty spectacular. Splashes of bright colors, like paint strokes, emanate from the windows on the ground floor reaching up high up the building.

6. Cartier

Cartier holiday ribbon decoration 2019 on Fifth Avenue

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.

Next, check out 10 new public art installations not to miss this month (including many holiday-themed ones!)