As some of you may have noticed I have a love affair with the Bergdorf Goodman windows and last Thursday, the NY Times wrote an article about their head designers, David Hoey and Linda Fargo. Bergdorfs is the reason why I moved to the city, it's the reason why I switched schools ( & majors) to study Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, and it's the reason why I work in Visual Merchandising now. This affair began the Christmas of 2004, when my boyfriend and I visited the city. We were wondering along 5th Avenue when I discovered what I had been looking for in my life.
Courtesy of fashiontrendsetter.com
At the time, I was going to art school in Connecticut studying illustration and I was less than inspired. I was over the cement box that was our "art department" and I was over the under-talented students and the complete lack of ambition that was surrounding me. Unfortunately, I was also beginning to fit right in, but I knew that I was not that kind of person and that something needed to happen. I knew had wanted to do something creative and artistic with my life and that design was the direction I needed to go.
Of course I had seen window displays before, and enjoyed working with the visual merchandiser at my part-time job with H&M. But it was Bergdorf Goodman who introduced me to the real beauty of window displays; the stories they tell, the fantasies they bring to life and how there is so much more to them than just selling product. As David Hoey said, “Display is a certain branch of show business and theater and storytelling.”
5th Avenue Warrior - Sketch from a few years ago
I often tell people that Linda Fargo is my role model, she is my aspiration. I have set very high goals for myself in the desire to follow a career path similar to hers. She is at the top, and that is where I'd like to be someday.
As I am not alone in appreciating Fargo and Hoey, there is a new book out in honor of their work. Published by Assouline, the 14-by-17-inch book is 144-pages long, it's titled “Windows at Bergdorf Goodman,” and retails for $550 . . . . Yes, that's correct and there are only a 1,000 copies.
Of course we can't speak about windows without the mention of Gene Moore, who in a sense created the industry. "As an art form, display dates to the 1940s, when Gene Moore introduced humor and storytelling to his windows at Tiffany & Company and the now-defunct Bonwit Teller department store." -NYT Gene Moore was a master and I often find myself rummaging through the archives of his windows (we have all the books at work, the best one is Windows At Tiffany's: The Art of Gene Moore.) I can only hope that this new book will be purchased for our inspiration library as well. Or I could just ask 5.5 of my friends to donate $100 to a good cause. . hint. hint.
If you'd like to learn more, you can catch the New York Times article Window-Dressing Warriors this book [here].
You could also check out the more affordable book that commemorates Linda Fargo's windows, called Dreams Through the Glass. I own this book and it always has been one of my faves.