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Behind the Windows

by habituallychic

12 . 01 . 08

David Hoey, Senior Director of Visual Presentation (the man behind the windows) of Bergdorf Goodman, was too busy to speak with me before I posted the photos of the gorgeous windows but last week he took time out of his exhausting schedule to give me the scoop on what it takes to put these amazing creations together! Enjoy!

“We have been insanely busy for three weeks installing five separate banks of holiday windows. We don’t hire an outside company to design or install holiday windows for us, as most of the other big stores do (except Barneys). This is an in-house project through and through. We have only this store to worry about. No secondary stores or corporate rollouts. This allows us to attempt these “couture”, one-of-a-kind installations and to work on them to the nth degree. I have a staff of five, but also many devoted freelancers, artists, and stylists who make all this happen. They take a year and half our resources to get ready.”

“By now you may have already seen the windows. The theme on Fifth Avenue is “The Seasons” (aka “Calendar Girls”). This year I was going for a truly hallucinatory effect. Like a cross between a trip to a natural history museum and a trip down a rabbit hole. I hope we managed this. We also indulged our penchant for purposely over stuffing the windows with props, antiques, inside jokes, and incident. We love that this maximal effect startles people. The porcelain bird collection in the “Spring” window took more than two years to acquire piece by piece at antique shops, fleamarkets, and ebay.”

Work in progress.

The first of many layers.

“There are banks of windows on other streets which are never mentioned by the press. We are very proud of the Men’s store windows on 5th Avenue this year.” I am definitely going to have to go back and take photos of the men’s store soon and thank David and his team for their amazing creativity, hard work and dedication. Their windows are always my favorite for their over the top fantasy and I hope everyone who is able stops by to see their magic in person!

A window on 58th Street

A window on 57th Street

A window on 57th Street

A window on 57th Street

Comments Closed

  1. Renee Finberg December 1, 2008 | 11:05 pm

    your beautiful blog makes me soooo homesick for the city.

    i lived on e 58th for 10 years while working at f.s.schumacher.

    the windows too gorgeous this time of year !!

    thank you for my fix,

  2. At Home with Kim Vallee December 2, 2008 | 2:59 am

    These fabulous windows fits into the magical essence of this time of the year. Thanks for sharing how complex they are to create.

  3. Diane Bergeron December 2, 2008 | 3:59 am

    David does it again! Amazing windows as always. Thanks for sharing!

  4. •ciaotay• December 2, 2008 | 8:59 am

    love david’s winter white choice! simply amazing. ciao, ciao.

  5. Mrs. Blandings December 2, 2008 | 1:01 pm

    Amazing how long they plan these in advance. Hollister Hovey did showcase the other windows last week; the use of taxidermy is fantastic,

  6. porter hovey December 2, 2008 | 1:20 pm

    Yes, the windows are just so amazing. Sooo cool that you got to hear him talk about them. Very jealous.

  7. Ivy Lane December 2, 2008 | 1:59 pm

    Windows are fantastic. I love the story about how it took forever to get all the vintage bird figurines etc. It is amazing to learn what goes in to these very special window displays.

  8. aizat.cinta.goddess December 2, 2008 | 2:40 pm

    i am totally love the pictures!it is so pretty!!i wish you can decorate my house

  9. Ms. Wis./Each Little World December 2, 2008 | 2:55 pm

    Thanks for that peek behind the windows. Amazing to think of all that time collecting and planning. Holiday windows were one of the best parts of Christmas when I was young — and they were free! They were such a gift to local communities and now they are virtually all gone (windows and the stores..) except in places like NYC.

  10. Me! December 2, 2008 | 3:11 pm

    All I can say is “WOW”!

  11. karlene December 2, 2008 | 8:16 pm

    thank you for taking the time to show those!!! I have been asking several of the New York bloggers I read to post some for those of us in the middle of nowhere. Imagine the creativity!!

    thank you and a Merry Christmas season!

  12. Juxtaposition Design December 2, 2008 | 9:39 pm

    Oh my gosh, so awesome! I can only hope to experience these in person one day

  13. DCLawyer December 2, 2008 | 9:56 pm


    From those of us not in NYC this holiday, thanks for sharing one of my favorite sights – the store windows! Wonderful.

  14. katiedid December 3, 2008 | 1:17 am

    Thanks for sharing! It makes me want to move to NYC!

  15. Scott Fazzini December 27, 2008 | 9:52 pm

    I’ve died and gone to window dresser’s heaven!