DAH-ling! You look just MAH-velous!
New York City is regarded as one of the most fashionable cities in the world. Unless you’re a supermodel or couture designer (and even if you are), a fashion tour down the famous 5th Avenue is a perfect way to get a feel for the vibrant history of aesthetics, fabric, and retail in the Big Apple. Sak’s, Tiffany’s, Versace, Ralph Lauren — 5th Avenue has it all. A few Vimbly employees (The Vimblette’s, as we call ourselves) were lucky enough to be treated to an incredible window-shopping tour, courtesy of one of our favorite vendors, WindowsWear.
This tour is a New York must-see for your cosmopolitan vacation…or, in the case of Mallory and I, a must-see for a work break on a Tuesday afternoon. We put off some after-lunch tasks for a few hours, grabbed our coats, and headed outside, to our extremely convenient meeting location, right outside the Vimbly offices.
Our first stop was Macy’s, where we met our fantastic tour guide, Joline, and the rest of our group. Walking through Macy’s to the meeting location was a memorable experience in itself — winding our way through the towers of purses and clouds of fragrance, I felt as though the words *buy me* were echoing between the walls, whispered by the heels, wallets, and jewelry. The bright lights and shining displays sparkling in the customers’ eyes told me they heard it, too.
After a brief introductory spiel, we headed out of the store, passing a New York Fashion Week display on the way. Joline explained that Macy’s rebelled against the exclusive and elite nature of Fashion Week events by broadcasting their show on E! and donating a portion of their profits to two charities, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Council of Fashion Designers of America Foundation. This is a pretty revolutionary move for the fashion industry! The items from the show were displayed in the giant windows lining Herald Square, which sported the two biggest trends this season: black and white, and boho chic.
These two themes were everywhere as we made our way up 5th Avenue, passed Lord & Taylor’s, the diamond district, Sak’s, Versace, and every high-class store you can think of. Two blocks in and I was already *swooning*. My life was suddenly incomplete without that casually feminine, yet military inspired jacket…and that geometric, flowing, black and white cutout dress…and that limited addition whimsy-yet practical purse…and that – no! I need to stop.
As we inched toward Central Park, the holy grail of shopping came into view — Tiffany’s was what I had been waiting for. As a middle class, 22-year-old girl, Audrey Hepburn is unequivocally — and unoriginally — my idol. I assumed that standing outside the Tiffany’s on 5th Avenue, a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s, would be a transcendent experience. When we arrived, I saw that, contrary to my expectations, the windows were small and dark with simple brown displays. But right in the center of each window was a gleaming piece of gorgeous jewelry — a diamond in the rough.
The tour ended at Bergdorf Goodman’s, where they were halfway through creating elaborate displays for Halloween that were so intricate and spooky they could have been designed by Tim Burton. Joline told us about the history of the store and its wild success selling luxury goods — a salesperson there can earn $75,000/year on commission. Turns out that chic comes at a price.
The overall takeaway point seemed to be the massive importance of continual innovation in window-design. From Macy’s, which has the six most-seen store windows in the world, to Ralph Lauren, who creates displays akin to movie sets, to Lord & Taylor’s, who has special elevator platforms raised into their space to maximize the usage of their tiny windows, the museum-like quality of these displays is incredible. It takes an artistry that is rarely appreciated, but has a lot of history, strategy, and elbow-grease behind it. We left, bubbling with fashion facts and a desperate desire for a complete wardrobe makeover.
But don’t take our word for it. Find out for yourself.