Best of 2015 NYC Holiday Retail Windows
PSFK's annual survey of design-centric retail windows includes Louis Vuitton, Barneys and littleBits, and features anthropomorphic furniture, live ice sculpting, and a crushed car
Here at PSFK each December, we turn our retail focus to scouting out the best holiday retail windows in New York City. Our criteria is to seek out the most artistic, eye-catching and visually bonkers examples. This year’s styles ran the gamut from ‘1930’s jazz club’ to ‘digitally created parametric sculptures.’
A couple of retailers explored holiday food and drink in interesting ways. Here’s an image packed rundown of our picks in alphabetical order:
ABC Carpet and Home – 888 Broadway
ABC’s windows are strong throughout the year but December is usually more special. This year was a mix of abstract nature and room scenes. The exterior glass had hand-painted messages of peace in multiple languages.
Anthropologie – Rockefeller Center
Baking, and in particular gingerbread, is the feature of Anthropologie’s NYC flagship windows. Rolling pins, cake tins, whisks and measuring spoons were used to create flowers in one window. A mountain with a ski chalet and an entire hillside village were made out of gingerbread in another. The windows are exceptional example of unlikely materials crafted into amazing sculptures.
Barneys – 660 Madison Ave
Barneys CHILLIN’ OUT windows aimed to deliver a sub-zero viewing experience in NYC’s unusually warm 2015 December. The highlight was live ice carving in-window converted into a 35-foot ice locker.
‘The Ice Carvers – Partnering with the ice carving collective OKAMOTO STUDIO, the Barneys New York team created a stylized satellite studio for the carvers to create winter-themed sculptures as a part of daily live performances.’
‘Ice Castles – To play on the idea of CHILLIN’ OUT and traditional winter themes, Barneys New York has partnered with Ice Castles, a company known for creating large-scale ice formations typically set upon mountaintops, to build an installation within the confines of its Madison Avenue window. The custom ice locker consistently maintains a temperature of 3 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and utilizes a custom misting system, which enables the creation and maintenance of the ice formations.’
‘Winter Brilliance by Dale Chihuly – the glass elements of the sculpture are representative of frigid winters, and appear as a grand crystalline explosion composed of individual hand-blown glass icicles. The sculpture is set above a black pool of reflective water, giving the appearance it is frozen in midair. Barneys New York partnered with Christie THREE SIXTY to integrate the use of 3D digital mapping onto “Winter Brilliance.” One-of-a-kind choreographed lighting effects are projected onto the sculpture, creating the illusion of light on ice, snow, and moonlight, and adding a fluid and kinetic quality to it.’
‘Arctic Chase – Beginning with the idea of the penguin, the Barneys New York team partnered with Lexus to reimagine a traditional and playful winter racetrack adventure with the iconic arctic animal. Referencing ZSL London Zoo’s Lubetkin Penguin Pool and childhood games, the team commissioned renowned slot car designer Gary Gerding to build a racetrack—the first translucent slot car track Gerding has ever built out of polycarbonate. As three “Chilled-Out” crystal-covered penguins race around the track atop Lexus IS, GS F, and RC F model cars, which were 3D printed and also covered in crystals, an animated film narrative created by Invisible Light Network brings the full scene together.’
Bergdorf-Goodman – 754 5th Ave.
“Brilliant” is the theme of the five main windows on 5th Ave. Bergdorf collaborated with Swarovski and each visually reference precious stones. We’ll say it again, if you can see only one set of windows on this list in person, make sure it is Bergdorf-Goodman.
‘The Crown Jewels’