Mac celebrates 30 years with a creative approach, designers endorse the infinite possibilities of the tool in thier art. 3D printing is changing everything. Thanks to Fashion and Mash
Yesterday it was 48 degrees the snow from previous storm was gone, not so this morning its coming down thick and wet. For a brief moment my thoughts had turned to Spring but now it seems winter is here to stay. Time for the bread and milk run again. off I went to the “Stop and Go” our local 24/7 junk food resource. OK, bread, half and half, a can of coffee and a few packets of ramen noodles, that’s all I need to survive the latest assault. Waiting in line I noticed the cashier unpacking new product. Upon closer inspection I saw it was a local favorite Zitner’s chocolate covered Easter eggs. It’s 20 degrees snow is falling and its Easter? I am fully aware that in my profession pushing the next season is simply a matter of course, but REALLY Easter Eggs? I’m not ready for this, even though their butter creams with dark chocolate are heaven.
I asked for a few when she told me that will be 3.67 I was shocked, these used to be 35 cents a piece, now they are 1.19. Oh man! To add insult to injury they shrunk to half the size, [just like everything has of late, even Oreos] I’m just not meant for this world anymore. I hate sounding like my father in the 60′s complaining that his Chevy new was 2.500. “My first used Oldsmobile sold for 100 bucks” he would exclaim. I can’t even imagine his reaction if he knew that Chevy loaded would be 26.000 today. A price which sounds reasonable to me. Cars are not candy Easter eggs, they don’t shrink with increasing materials costs [just pay more for options you don't need] To prove my point look at the photo with a quarter next to the egg. Proof positive that a dollar is the new quarter.
When I reflect upon my career I guess I’ve been a lucky guy. I’ve been able to support myself freelance during most of it, except during the last recession which struck the worst blow to retail I have ever experienced. Which, I might add is still lingering on. Retail is just not the same since. The advent of the internet hasn’t helped brick and mortar either. There will always be a “high-end” customer that delights in personal service,but they have become an endangered species. There are simply not enough of them to support the huge amount of retailers yearning for their dollar. The local retailer has had a hard time remaining competitive in the face of the invasion of the “big box” merchants. All in all the last eight years have been bleak.
To combat the malaise in the retail sector lets look back to the Golden Era of retail, the post war years when their was a “chicken in every pot and a car in every driveway. Every boomer remembers tagging along with mom as she dragged us through the great department stores that once where a fixture in every town and city center. Those days of doormen,excellent service and sparkling merchandise,made a lasting impression on me that shaped my future and are still the measure by which I judge my own work.
During my post Art school days I was fortunate to have met Henry Callahan the master of classic display .Mr. Callahan, who was born in Oakland, Calif., grew up in Philadelphia, where as a teen-ager he became a display apprentice to Strawbridge & Clothier’s department store. He later became head of window display at Lord & Taylor in New York City and display head for Schenley, the liquor concern.
In 1957, he joined Saks Fifth Avenue, where he became a vice president and the corporate director of visual merchandise. He retired in 1977. His favorite windows, he once told an interviewer, were of Southern belles napping in hammocks and wearing lace pastel-colored dresses. A hidden mechanism made their chests gently rise and fall as they slept.
I met Henry through a common friend who had tagged me as a perfect display man [before I knew it myself] Henry was retired and living in a snug town house on the very fashionable Delancey Street in Philadelphia. I remember well sitting in his front parlor as he poured tea from a beautiful Limoges pot and spoke to me about his days at Saks as he turned the pages of his scrap books [many scrapbooks] his words still stick in my mind, “You must wear many hats” he said “you must be an artist first and then a painter, a carpenter, a tailor, an architect, and a janitor” Henry had no fantasies about a life in retail, “You have to love what you do or do something else” Henry was kind and introduced me to a number of contacts that launched my career. His words still come to me when I feel I had chosen the wrong path, that I should have chosen a more secure profession and work 9 to 5 for 30 years and retire with a pension. Too late for that now…and I still believe you have to love what you do… Thanks Henry, you were right.
Now for a beautiful collection of Mr Callahan’s work, impeccable, timeless and without equal.
Ikea happen upon a brilliant concept for a recent advert. Cat lovers all over the world will relate. Ask any keeper of a feline and they will tell you that cats will search endlessly for the perfect spot to nestle in for a long winters night (or any night for that matter) One thing you can be sure of the choice will most likely a place you don’t want them to be.
How familiar are you with this?
The holidays are fast approaching, can you believe it? I've been living three months ahead for years and still can't believe how fast the months are passing. The following photos are not the best I've ever taken. I took them quickly, as all I wanted to do was go home. These are three retail stores in two spaces. Kitchenette, Row Home and the new Emilie women's apparel. This took about a week to completely reset floor displays and change windows. Merry Thanks-a-ween….