America’s Favorite Subject: Celebrity

4 Oct

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I’ve done window displays for 30 odd years. In all that time I have acquired a large set themes and subjects that I rely on daily, Hollywood Celebs from the studio system is one of them.  My prep time for an install has thankfully dropped to a reasonable amount, the clients still do not understand how long it takes to pull it together, and often question your invoice. Gone are the days of heavily propped vignettes, I am so over furniture, columns and elaborate fabric confections. I am not an interior decorator, although most clients think I am. I design retail  stores not boudoirs and no I will not do your sons Bar Mitzvah. I long ago discovered the wonder of Google search, Staples printing dept. and Mylar decals I can walk in with an entire display under my arm.

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There is no one more iconic than Marilyn and so easy to install.

“Less is More” has been my mantra for years, but never has it been more true than recently. My years in this bis have taught me that it all comes down to three components. A good tagline, A good Image and most important a Good product. being freelance also helps, I generally have the last word as to what we are displaying.

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Judy and Katherine…..Some girls were born for Black and White

I have found that when all is said and done Celebrity icons are a sure way the attract attention, the advertising industry has known this for years. Celeb endorsements sell product, especially if they are dead. I am the first to admit I live for the pantheon of Hollywood actors, my entire creative psyche is based on my life long immersion in movies. Every display I install can trace its roots to a particular frame in a film that stuck on my minds silver screen. Needless to say Americans share this mass hallucination, and I have no problem exploiting it.

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Elizabeth Taylor….all the of them…are still magic when it comes to creating attention, I miss her.

If one wants a successful display that at least stops the viewer or better yet gets them in the shop, remember these 3 major rules; 1. Less is really more.. don’t put one more thing in. [ because the client will probably do it after you depart] 2. White is always right. [Maximum contrast in glare ridden windows is essential] 3. When in doubt don’t [ if you have the slightest inkling that what you are doing will offend don’t!] I’ve learned that the hard way.

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Lately there has been a resurgence of Bond..all the Bonds, Remember “Shaken not Stirred”

I have proved to myself time and time again that celeb photos will always garner attention and comments, especially from the aging boomers [like me] I have concluded that there now exists two generational groups who will spend, the Gen Xers who are now in their 30s, working, married and still acquiring material goods due to their fascination with the 60s [thank you Mad Men] and the empty-nester boomers who thought they would never be 60, who are now pining for the days of their youth [like me] Boomers are refusing to accept old age, hence the perfect target for all sorts of marketing, infomercials are full of anti aging products. I for one I refuse to join ARRP [denial on a grand scale] I admit it.

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Don’t forget Animals, they always create customer engagement. although it’s a bit like listening to parents brag about their children.

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The “Sex and the City” period was huge, everyone commented. never has there been a show that so many identified with. Sold a large amount of fashion with this one.

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The “Main Attraction” Was the best of all worlds, the movies and the famous couples who inhabit them. We all want it just like it is in the movies.

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Even Harriet Nelson was a popular celeb..her windows were always met with the applause she wanted. Talk about apple pie squeaky clean, she had it in spades.

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