WindowsWear Fashion Window Walking Tour

Lucky Magazine

Over the weekend I got the opportunity to take a tour that I’ve had on my “New York To-Do List” for a while.

The WindowsWear Fashion Window Walking Tour covers the major department stores in Manhattan, the history of window displays and the ins and outs of how stores use these windows as marketing tools. We started at MacyÂ’s and worked our way up to Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and ended at BloomingdaleÂ’s. (Btw, I stopped at the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. It was the right thing to do after all of that walking!) Bret was an amazing tour guide and had plenty of interesting tidbits to share.

Macy’s was the pioneer, they were the first to put clothing in the store windows. It was used as a tool to show non-English speaking immigrants their products. Macy’s was also the first store to have an in-store Santa Claus (Hence “Miracle on 34th Street”).

2009 window via

Did you know that the store windows are changed every 2-4 weeks?? This was a surprise to me!

Most designer boutiques always feature a version of their signature item in their store windows. For example, Burberry will always have a trench in the window, Chanel will always have a little black dress and so on. Be sure to take a look when you pass one.

Lord & Taylor was the first company to hire a woman as a CEO, Dorothy Shaver. Lord & Taylor has hydraulic windows: they lower into the basement, the designers create new windows and then raise them back up to street level.

The womenÂ’s shoe section in Saks has its own zip code: 10022-Shoe

During the rise of mannequins as store displays, Cynthia the Mannequin was kind of the first reality star. A mannequin created by Lester Gaba, Cynthia was so lifelike and loved that she had a credit card at Saks, jewelers sent her jewels and she even had box seats at the Metropolitan Opera. Unfortunately, Cynthia met her demise when she fell out of the chair at the beauty salon and shattered. Check out her 1937 spread in Life magazine.

Clockwise from top left: Bergdorf Goodman, Dior, Elie Tahari

Windows in Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce & Gabbana

Cynthia the Mannequin with her creator Lester Gaba