Window dressing is the term used to describe the display of product or good in a store window or within the actual store. The person responsible for this act is known as a window dresser. Among other things, he or she must set up mannequins, place products on display, incorporate visual elements to make the display more appealing, and change the display on a regular basis. But this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the role of a window dresser.
The terms visual merchandiser and window dresser are often used in conjunction with one another. While they share some similarities, however, they are two different professions with their own unique characteristics. Visual merchandisers typically create floors plans which are used to display products within a store, while window dressers focus more on the actual displays.
In most cases, the window dresser will focus his or her attention on the store’s window (hence the name). After all, this is where product displays have the greatest impact, influencing both shoppers and pedestrians walking by the store. A window dresser may create a display consisting of several mannequins dressed in the store’s latest fashion, enticing pedestrians to step into the store and check it out. Furthermore, however, he or she will utilize lighting, themes, colors and other elements to make the product look as appealing as possible. Anyone can toss up a mannequin with a garment, but it takes a skilled and experienced window dresser to truly create an effective window display.
One of the most prominent window dressers of all time was Gene Moore. After moving to New York City in the early 1930s, Moore found a job working as a window dresser at Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue. It’s believed that Moore designed or helped design approximately 5,000 window displays, ranging from simple mannequins to full themes consisting of stuffed hummingbirds and other visual elements. Other well-known window dressers include Raymond Loewy, Giorgio Armani, Simon Doonan, L. Frank Baum, Victor Hugo and Christine McVie.
Hopefully this will give you a better understanding of window dressers and how the key role they play in the retail industry.
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