I Do Windows

Bloomingdale’s Windows

Posted in Discuss This Display, Nonpareil Windows by Arcadia on May 11, 2012

My student Chelsea W. sent me these photos last week of her work, and I’ve been remiss in getting them up here.  She currently works at Bloomingdale’s and is one of my most creative and hardest working students.  I love her attention to detail and how meticulous she is in her work.

She told me at the beginning of the semester, that had it not been for this blog, she would not have known such a class existed!  I am not surprised, that throughout the course of this semester, she was able to land a job with Bloomies on their visual team.  No one deserved it more!

Her work speaks for itself:

Working in the studio: covering her mannequins with Astroturf :).

Props complete!


A job well done – these windows can be seen from the Mall entrance at Westfield!

Keep up the great work Chelsea!

Store Study: Industry Denim

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on February 2, 2012

A store analysis by Cynthia T.


What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

This is a large store, with two floors.  The design is casual and contemporary and the primary material is wood.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in the store was that they carry a lot of Denim, so my impression about the retailer was: selling casual clothing.

Describe the store’s target customer.

Because the clothes are definitely casual and rather expensive; I think the target customers are men and women in the following age group: late 20’s to early 40’s.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

Yes, the merchandise is displayed in a very accessible manner –  either hanging from racks or folded over tables – within an easy height (nothing is hanging way up high in the ceiling).

Is it stocked-piled or minimalist?

Everything is piled, and every space is filled with something, so it looks highly stocked.

Do the fixtures suit the store’s environment?

They do fit.  The large windows and high ceilings give the store a loft-apartment feeling, and the type of furniture they chose to fill out the space makes it look cozy and casual.

Is the ambiance fitting for the store’s image?

Yes, the ambiance fits the store’s image.  The music, the lights, and the vintage decorations are in sync with the casual, funky San Francisco style.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

Yes, the lighting highlights the merchandise.  All areas are highly lit and no merchandise is left in the dark.

How is color used in the store?

The main color is oak wood, and the decoration is rather rustic looking with a warm palette. The warm tones make the store look neat and inviting.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

The windows look rather messy and condensed with merchandise.  I didn’t find them pleasing but they made me curious about what they carry in the store.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

I would put fun signs throughout the store to help customers identify what is men’s and what is women’s.


Thanks Cindy for a great assignment and photos!



A Student’s Critique of Store Windows

Posted in Discuss This Display, Mall Field Trip Assignment by Arcadia on April 28, 2011

I’ve been wanting to post this assignment for the longest time, my student is beginning to wonder when am I going to give her paper back!  We were having technical difficulties with the corresponding photos.

Westfield Mall/Union Square Assignment by Syeda L.

Click here for the list of questions the students had to answer.

1.  The window that I found to be the most effective was Barney’s window.  This window was the most effective because it made me stop and pay attention.  I like how all of the garments displayed were in white and that there were these great quotes from the designers placed on the window and pictures of past collections scattered on the floor.

2.  The window that I found to be the least effective was Juicy Couture’s windows.  This window was the least effective because considering that they are right on Market Street, there is absolutely nothing eye-catching about their windows.  Their windows look like they were ill-planned and that there was absolutely no thought put into them.

3.  Barney’s had really cool and creative wall fixtures.  They used wall mounted face out fixtures for their display of Alexander Wang.

4.  Express used color blocking for their men’s collared shirts, as well as horizontal merchandising and product merchandising.  They arranged all of their shirts according to the color wheel; they were all folded horizontally in a wall, and they were all grouped together.

Bath and Body also had examples of product merchandising by grouping a whole bunch of bath soap of the same scent all together and displaying them on a table.

Another good display of horizontal merchandising is Anthropologie.  Anthropologie grouped some dresses all together and some jackets all together and some skirts all together on a wall.

5.  Bloomingdales used vendor displays for their Burberry area.  The vendor displays are all a light wood color mixed with steel that is specific to the mini Burberry shop.

6.  H&M uses POP displays.  Their POP displays are in front of each cash register and are in glass type containers and they contain small items like hair items or jewelry.

7.  The Icing uses a trend area.  The trend area is for St. Patrick’s Day.  It is a small circular wooden rack that has jewelry and other accessories related to St. Patrick’s Day.

8.  Diesel uses printed graphics in their windows.  They have a graphic of a man wearing Diesel merchandise and there are bikes scattered on the floor.

9.  Abercrombie and Fitch creates ambience with both music and scent.  When you walk into any Abercrombie and Fitch store, you are hit immediately with their overwhelming scent and the lighting is super dark and the music is super loud.  It feels like you stepped into a rave or something.

10.  Barney’s is my absolutely favorite store visually.  I love the creativity put into their visuals.  They have a really nice store design, good lighting, clear signage, quirky music for ambience, and really nice fixtures for the merchandise.

(all images via Syeda L.)

Window Display Set-Up

Posted in Fashion 49, Window Lessons by Arcadia on March 1, 2010

Windows displays are a lot of fun, but they require a lot of planning!  A good display area will have a number of items to allow you install a variety of different concepts.  Here we will discuss some of the practical necessities you will need for installations:

  • Solid Walls
  • Floor panel if you wish to change the floor coverings
  • Ceiling grid for hanging items
  • Secure Door
  • Lighting Tracks
  • Electric Sockets (very important!)
  • Window Shades to pull down when working your magic!
  • Speakers so you can hear announcements going on in the store
  • Fire Sprinklers (obviously)

First make sure you have solid walls to form the backdrop together with the side walls. It should be a smooth, even surface that can be painted or covered with fabric.  Make sure the walls are strong enough to handle screws or nails:

If you wish to change out your floor coverings then having floor panels is a great idea.  They are typically made from MDF (medium density fiberboard), which is a very light weight wood material.  It can hold a  staple or nail which will allow you to change the floor by changing the fabric or painting it:

A sturdy metal ceiling grid painted the same color as the existing ceiling will allow you to hang banners, props, sometimes even mannequins (if it’s strong enough) from it.  Don’t install it too low where it is in the eye of the window, you want it high enough above where it can still do its job but be out of sight.

Good windows are made great with good lighting.  Lighting tracks are a must.  Plan before hand how you will light your window, it should never be an after thought:

(notice the ceiling grid on top as well)

Speaking of lighting, the location and number of electric sockets is super important.  You want them hidden on either side of the the window next to the glass, install a couple up in the ceiling as well.  Nothing is worse than having an ugly orange extension cord hanging from your display!  Are you the one responsible for installing electric sockets? No! This should be done by a qualified electrician:

By making sure you have at least these items in your window display area; you are free to just design and create, and that’s where the real fun begins!

Discuss This Display

Posted in Discuss This Display by Arcadia on March 1, 2010

What changes would you make to improve this store’s windows?  Discuss…..

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