Halloween is gaining importance as it shifts from kids-only fun to a chance for grown-ups to enjoy the October 31st escapism. The USA Halloween spending is expected to reach an all-time high of $8.4 billion this year; Europe is also increasingly involved in the celebration. At this point All Saints Eve truly seems to attract enough attention to drive sales. Still, this opportunity is not widely recognized by the world of fashion: while Christmas commonly makes retailers compete for the clients’ attention creating outstanding window setups, this is not the case of Halloween. Still, there are pioneers, and some of them made a great use of the theme. Today Lustinfashion embraces the spooky mood and shows the best practices.
#5: Ralph Lauren, NYC Bleecker Street Store, 2009
This example of Halloween window setups is the earliest in our rating; while retailers are only now starting to use the theme to foster consumer spending, Ralph Lauren successfully used the scary motives to decorate the displays in 2009. While the overall Halloween mood is evident and consistent across the windows, the interpretations of it vary: the women’s store display is elegant, rather melancholy than scary, while the men’s is masculine and stark. The kidswear section is more playful, suggesting fun and turmoil with the pumpkin-headed children flying on their broomsticks.
#4: Macy’s Herald Square in partnership with Grandin Road, 2016
Setting up the holiday displays with the retailer’s own merchandise is not the only option. This year Macy’s embraced the terrifying spirit, opening a pop-up store from the home décor brand Grandin Road, which is 1400 square feet of Halloween mood. The window displays look fantastic, fully capturing the right tone and making consumers feel it (and desire to bring it home for 3 to 1299 dollars per item).
#3: Topshop Oxford Circus, 2012
Topshop knows its target and adjusts the Halloween theme so appeal to them, making the mannequins look like punky and edgy teens. And this is not the only way the British retailer followed its client: the windows of the Oxford Circus store were more than just an attractive display, but a supportive visual to the Trick Or Tweet Campaign introduced in 2012, which allowed the social media-exposed Topshop fans to partly pay for their purchases with tweets. The brand also introduced the special “Witching Hour” collection, gave away themed prizes and makeovers, and created an online album of all customers’ Halloween pictures, thus fully integrating the holiday into customer engagement.
#2: Saks Fifth Avenue in partnership with Marc Jacobs and Tim Burton, 2016
This year Saks Fifth Avenue partnered with Tim Burton to create the window displays in honor on his new film, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The actual props from the set were used, and the designer to dress up the mannequins was Marc Jacobs with his gothic-inspired Fall’16 collection. Such partnerships work out well when there is alignment in the character of all the participating brands, and this was taken into account by the luxury department store: “Burton’s mystique juxtaposed with Jacobs’ romantic fashion, all set within the grand Saks setting, create a truly cinematic scene”, says Mark Briggs, the executive vice president of the Creative Center of Excellence. Despite the effort, time and investments these initiatives require, Saks regularly comes up with fascinating window displays, recognizing the importance of unique experiences to keep alive the brick-and-mortar.
#1: Bergdorf Goodman in partnership with Guillermo Del Toro, 2015
The top-of-the-rating case has a lot in common with the one of Saks: Bergdorf Goodman is also a legendary department store in New York, and also known for its stunning window displays. One more thing in common, it partnered with the producers of a gothic film, this time Crimson Peak by Guillermo del Toro. The displays incorporated the original props and set pieces, and the styles came from various top designers like Oscar de la Renta, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Valentino and more. In total there were 5 windows, each a true masterpiece representing an actual set space from the film, like Cemetery Gates, Elevator and Attic.