“the Communication of Window Displays” Selfridges

2451 words 10 pages
“The Communication of Window displays”
Selfridges

BA (HONS) Fashion Management - ISHE

Henry Gordon Selfridge was famous for lighting up store windows at night and his art of displays. He opened up the largest store in the world and his own retail empire in 1903. Soon, H.G. Selfridge & Co sold out and he retired a rich man. In 1909, Selfridge’s focused on advertising and publicity. This led to air shows and exciting ideas such as the Theatre of Retail. In this essay, I will use primary research as well as journals, articles, videos, books and websites to bring my research together. By this, I will prove how the windows of Selfridges consistently work to promote the cheerful image of the retailer.

From the start, Selfridges
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This year, Selfridges are inspired by the quotation ‘we don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.’ - George Bernard Shaw. This inspired to awake the child within. Although they may look childish, they are aimed mainly to adults. They have jokes in the windows that are directed to adults and not understood by children. Still, they use the chaotic and colorful items to act as if children have designed the windows.

As you can see in Figure 5, this window portrays the happy ending of the famous dolls Barbie and Ken. The life size dolls allow the adult consumer to relate more to the dolls. Selfridges is selling fantasy, which is underlined by the Barbie’s on the frosted Christmas tree in Figure 6. The theme is later on continued inside to keep the same flow and energy alive. The colors here are bright, creating a joy for the passer by. The lighting is coming from above making it a cozy atmosphere to look at. The props and merchandise are portrayed enough to not override the Christmas spirit yet still highlight the childhood memories.
Figure 6: Close up of Christmas window, Selfridges, London

Source: Personal Photo, 2010

Figure 7: Christmas window at Selfridges, London Source: Personal Photo, 2010

The second window is actually designed by a children’s charity. They had been given the

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