December 2006

Forefront: The Culture of Shop Window Design

Birkhauser Publishing

  • Klosterberg 23, P.O. Box 133 CH-4010
  • ,

(41) 04-161-2050707 

Looking for a holiday gift for your favorite visual merchandiser?  Here is the answer: abc Forefront xyz , over 200 pages of color photos of window design gathered from all over the world by the editors of Frame magazine.  We learn how designers work (and how long!):

  • Bergdorf Goodman’s David Hooey and Barney’s Simon Doonan, both in New York, and Moschino’s JoAnn Tan in Milan, are all solo designers. David has a full-time staff of five, plus free-lancers when needed, who may easily work 12-hour days, taking as long as it takes to get the job done after the store is closed and before it opens.
  • Selfridge’s and Harvey Nichols' in London and Louis Vuitton in Paris all have design teams; Vuitton’s must plan 6 - 7 months ahead for their 319 stores worldwide.  The Selfridge’s team conceives the ideas and may call in artists, photographers and even magazine editors to carry them out.
  • The Yves Saint Laurent shop in Zurich, the Hermes shop in Tokyo, Vincon in Barcelona and Gucci in London are some of the other windows shown.

The one distraction in this otherwise wonderful book is the confusing Contents page followed by the concomitant chapter title pages.   

Reviewer: San Francisco Elizabeth Lady, FIDM Library Staff Member