Director of Windows
Macy’s Herald Square
1. What do you see through windows?
I see them as a reflection of how a store sees themselves. Much like how we want people to see what we are about by the way we dress ourselves, windows project what the style and personality of the store; whether it’s meticulous and stiff, whimsical and humorous, political, or without any thought at all.
2. What gets your attention in a window display?
Thoughtfulness and great execution. To me, that means great composition, use of negative space, lighting, styling and attention to detail while staying relevant and true to the stores branding/lifestyle.
3. What feelings are evoked when you gaze into a styled window display?
It all depends on the window. If it’s a successful window, then I’m feeling what it wants me to feel.
4. Describe your most memorable window display moment?
Once I told production that I decided I wanted to put a working rollercoaster in one of our Christmas windows. The look on everyone’s face was priceless. “Impossible” they said, “It can’t be done.” Months later, in November, we had a fully functioning rollercoaster in our windows. What a sense of accomplishment everyone felt! One of the Highlights during this process was HGTV filming the whole process for a television special; they took me to Six Flags Great Adventure and let me ride all the rollercoasters for the day for “research” while the park was closed. An amazing day.
5. When was the last time a window inspired you to go into a retail store?
Whenever Apple has a new product in their window. I can’t resist.
6. Did you always want to work in the world of window display or was it an accidental career choice?
I graduated college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art. I didn’t quite know where to look for a career with this so I sent resumes everywhere that there was a creative department. I didn’t even know what Visual Merchandising was at the time, but Nemian Marcus in Beverly Hills saw something, I guess, and hired me in their Visual department. I loved the combination of being artistic and surrounded by fashion and culture. I grew from there, windows always being my first love.
7. What was your first job that involved retail window display?
Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. I had no idea what I was doing but I worked with extremely talented people that nurtured me. We had a blast and I learned so much.
8. How much of the creative work you do is part of your social life?
I never really thought about it.
9. Who or what inspires you in your work?
This is actually a question I dread getting asked but is asked so often. The usual stock answer from most is ‘I get inspiration from everything around me… blah blah blah.’ I just set my mind to it and come up with an idea. Who knows where it comes from? I’d rather spend the time designing rather than think about where the idea came from.
10. What is your wildest dream for a window display?
A window where ideas are not questioned and budgets are forgotten.
MACY’s Herald Square- street window lesson
In true ‘pedagogy of the street’ style, Doug Fowler, assistant windows director for Macy’s Herald Square kindly conducted a VM street learning environment for the our TAFE VM team. On location at Macy’s Herald Square MUST SEE holiday windows, Doug talked us through the making of the ‘Make -a -Wish’ window display, designed by the award winning Paul Olszewski. This installation transported the viewer into a world a wash with white & silver & featured puppets styled in steampunk/Victorian costuming. Steam technology filled the window as this ‘Wish’ factory mixes up Christmas wishes & transforms them into unique ornaments.
With people from all over the world gathered 10 deep gazing with child like curiosity into the award winning window extravaganza, it proved quite the unforgettable experience to claim our space & soak up the generous lesson offered to us in the hussle & bussle of Macy’s Herald Square. A window lesson like never before, conducted in Paul Ozlewski’s, “Window Capital of the World”, sheer delight!
Window 5 featured the wishes of children from the Make a Wish Foundation & on board the windows ‘Ship of Wishes’ these wishes make the journey from dreams to reality.
Thank you Paul & Doug for a learning curve so inspired & surreal that it has confirmed a number of returns from our traveling VM team, determined to take another bite out of the Big Apple…this time in the window rather than out of it! Happy Holidays!
19 December 2011
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