design:retail - January 2016 - (Page 8)

editor's note 008 A Bit of Razzle-Dazzle ALISON EMBREY MEDINA EXECUTIVE EDITOR @dretaileditor S OMETHING QUITE HISTORIC happened last month in the world of New York holiday windows. For the first time in the nearly 20 years that this magazine has been judging the annual Winning Windows competition to determine the finest holiday windows in Manhattan, Lord & Taylor was mentioned among the winners (get a glimpse of the windows on page 30). And not only did they finally break the top three- they shocked us all and won the whole thing. I remember my first time seeing Lord & Taylor's holiday windows in New York. It was a frigid December day more than a decade ago, and my sensitive Southern skin was already chapped from the wintry wind (that was also the day I learned about covering your face with your scarf and carrying Vaseline in your purse when spending an entire day outdoors in the Northeast!). The Victorian dollhouses and miniaturized holiday scenes were lovely and oozed tradition, but I found them quite hard to compare with the magnitude, glitz and glam of, say, the Macy's, Saks or Bergdorf windows. But this year, something was different. We had heard that the front of Lord & Taylor was covered in scaffolding, so my expectations as we trekked down Fifth Avenue were tepid at best. But as we walked up to the Lord & Taylor windows, I found myself entering into a cozy little den of holiday delight. First of all, every inch of said scaffolding was covered in plush garland and delightful white Christmas lights, literally sucking you in to a festive wonderland from across the street. And the windows themselves! Movement. Humor. Color. Animation. Holiday spirit. Creativity. Even a little bit of that glitz and glam. (I was JANUARY 2016 DESIGNRETAILONLINE.COM particularly giddy about the gingerbread house held up by dancing gingerbread men-simply adorable.) When we tally up our scores, each judge is able to award an extra five points to the retailer whose windows he or she deems their favorite. I like to call it the "surprise and delight bonus," and always give my extra points to the retailer that I would most want to go back and see a second-or third-time. For me, that was Lord & Taylor this year. I suppose they wooed me with a bit of good old-fashioned razzle-dazzle! The day after our judging, I called Roe Palermo, divisional vice president, merchandise presentation for Lord & Taylor, and left a voicemail telling her that Lord & Taylor had placed in the top three this year. I commented that I could not stop smiling from the moment I approached them to the moment I left. When I finally met Roe at the PAVE Gala the next evening, she said she still had goosebumps, because making people "smile" was the directive she had given her team throughout the year. (Apparently she also had played my voicemail to every member of her entire department.) But, it was when Roe heard her company's name proclaimed as the first-place, Platinum Award winner for the best holiday store windows that the real razzle-dazzle ensued. Shock and disbelief quickly morphed into passion and energy, as Roe got the entire crowd of 850-plus industry titans to stand on their feet in the name of the people who put their blood, sweat and tears into creating these moments of holiday magic. With her hands raised in the air, she shouted for everyone to join her in this mission of bringing joy-that surprise and delight-to store windows. At the end of the evening, I had to collect the crystal awards from each winner, as we then have the winning companies' names etched into them. I literally had to pry the award-covered in fingerprints from being passed around by L&T staffers for selfies and photo ops-from Roe's proud, clenched fingers. She was holding onto that thing like it was the key to the future. And for her and her team, I suppose perhaps it was. Here's to carrying that razzle-dazzle onward into 2016. A little surprise and delight could do us all some good. Illustration by SHANNON MAY http://www.DESIGNRETAILONLINE.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of design:retail - January 2016

design:retail - January 2016
Editor’s Note
Show Talk
On Trend
We Love This!
Designer Picks
Clicks & Mortar
Have You Heard?
The Visual Eye
Searching for Steve Jobs
Searching for Steve Jobs
Winning Windows
Visual Eye
Visual Products

design:retail - January 2016