A Guide to New York’s Most Glamorous Windows of the Season

To the luxury retailers of New York City’s Fifth Avenue, decking the halls is serious business.

Each holiday season, renowned department stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York unveil their ornate holiday windows after nine months of planning, designing, installing and bedazzling. The much-beloved tradition has emerged as an opportunity for retailers to offer festive spectacles that represent the stores’ creative spirits.

Here, we celebrate these dazzling displays of creativity with a pilgrimage to the legendary stores. 

Bergdorf Goodman’s “Destination Extraordinary”

The style gurus at Bergdorf Goodman take visitors on a wild ride through a number of enchanting locales in this year’s “Destination Extraordinary” windows. The fantastical scenes transport viewers to verdant jungles and surprising vistas. As Refinery29 reports, Bergdorf senior director of visual presentation David Hoey describes the windows as “delirious remakes of the classic dioramas seen in natural history museums.”  

Saks Fifth Avenue’s “Land of 1,000 Delights”

To complement Saks’ annual light show, the store’s windows offer a fantastical take on The Nutcracker Suite, transforming it into “The Nutcracker Sweet.” Each window presents a different candy-coated act of the holiday classic, complete with candy cane forests, gingerbread puppets, marshmallow mice and, of course, sugarplum fairies. Said Saks president Marc Metrick in an interview with Women's Wear Daily, “It’s a whimsical landscape of colorful candy intertwined with festive fashion that brings people back to a different, wonderful place.”

Barneys New York’s “#LovePeaceJoyProject”

This holiday season, Barneys New York tapped five creative minds to bring to life their interpretations of the season’s tenants, love, peace and joy. The work of contemporary and mixed media artists Nick Cave, Rob Pruitt, Studio Job, Ebony G. Patterson and even South Park highlights the abstractness and beauty of love, peace and joy.

Barneys is also asking the public to engage with this year’s theme by participating in the #LovePeaceJoyProject. For every social media post expressing love, peace and joy and tagged with #LovePeaceJoyProject and @barneysny, the Barneys New York Foundation will donate $5 to Amy Schumer and Leesa Evans’ STYLEFUND charity and the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation.

Check out how the Barneys windows came together below. 

Bloomingdale’s “See the Light”

Inspired by its light-themed holiday campaign, Bloomingdale’s gilded windows each display a magnificent chandelier. Crafted by eight different artists, these light fixtures, dubbed “Mirrors,” “Sparkle,” “Let It Glow, Let It Glow, Let It Glow” and other appropriately glitzy names, offer variety “that speaks to our consumers’ needs and interests,” Bloomingdale’s chairman and chief executive officer Tony Spring said in an interview with Women's Wear Daily. “We’re adding lights and an extra dose of fun and enthusiasm and spirit this year.”

Each of the chandeliers will be auctioned off at the close of the season, with all proceeds going to Child Mind Institute

For a closer look at the history and process behind these iconic holiday windows, click here