Thursday, December 05, 2013

Holiday Store Windows by Rhonda Erb

Window Shopping
Saks Fifth Avenue building
(Cilck image for full size view)

Fifth Avenue shoppers who stop to enjoy Saks Fifth Avenue’s holiday windows this season will get the added bonus of witnessing a state of the art, 3D light show, projected on the facade of the building. The Snowflake Spectacular projection features snowflakes, ice skaters and a lovable snow creature, The Yeti, who is also the central figure in the store’s animated store windows. 

Click on image for full size view

Each window depicts a scene from the The Yeti Story, a book written exclusively for Saks Fifth Avenue last year by Stephen Bucher.  It follows the Yeti’s evolution from a snow maker in Siberia to a snowflake artist, rumored to live on the roof of the Fifth Avenue store. “ We took some scenes from the book and really brought them to life to give the Yeti his fifteen minutes of fame, if you will,” said Harry Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Store Planning and Visual Merchandising for Saks Fifth Avenue, “ so it’s a full 360 degree approach for us with the book, the plush, the windows and the video projection.”

Click on image for full size view

The process from concept to display takes about a year, according to Cunningham, so while passersby are savoring this year’s presentation, the planning for the 2014 production is already under way. “We start by drawing the storyboards out, we build small models and then we build the full size windows actually off site, completely break them down, move them across town; it takes us about two weeks to put them back together in our windows and you get to see what you see tonight,” said Cunningham at the window unveiling last week.
In the four years that Mr. Cunningham has been at Saks Fifth Avenue, he has seen the light show become increasingly more elaborate.  “This is completely built on a computer, it is computer animated and generated… there are tons of measurements that are taken from the building to actually allow it to be completely mapped, so it’s video mapped and that’s what gives us the opportunity to bring it to life.  When you see the building actually moving it’s because we’ve literally measured every inch of the façade of the building, put that into a computer and then computer animated all the video that you see on the front. As technology advances we’re going to continue to push ourselves forward and advance our windows and our projections and everything that we’re doing.
There is also an interactive window in the display, created in collaboration with MasterCard.   Guests can visit and create their own personal Yeti name and design their own snowflake, which will be added to the digital display.  The mobile site features artwork by designers Stefan Bucher and Marian Bantjes.

Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, New York City

Don’t Miss…
Bloomingdale’s Unwrapped

Take a global tour, celebrating holiday shopping in China, France, Great Britain and New York City.  Each of the store’s holiday windows unwraps a surprise gift.

Bloomingdale’s 59th Street at Lexington Avenue, New York City

Henri Bendel’s Hirschfeld Spectacular

Al Hirschfeld’s artistry is captured in the main window of the Fifth Avenue flagship. A holiday party scene includes the artist’s rendering of guests including Carol Channing, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Jessica Parker and many more, including and the artist himself.

Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Avenue, New York City

Lord & Taylor’s Vintage Holiday

A vintage New York City holiday experience is depicted in the holiday windows of the store’s 100-year-old Fifth Avenue building. The windows include scenes of Lord & Taylor shoppers enjoying holiday traditions of a bygone era in a “magically decorated” store. 

Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, New York City

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