Holiday Retail Window Wonder: Barney's Big Chill

December 28, 2015 | B2C Consumer Activations

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Barneys New York is embracing the big chill—literally—in the holiday retail window of its flagship store on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue.


With a theme of “Chillin’ Out,” the specialty luxury retailer has transformed its storefront windows into a holiday winter wonderland—complete with glittering glass sculptures, light shows on ice and…daily ice carvings! 


The ice is showcased in a unique installation composed of two windows that have been transformed into a 35-ft., fully functioning walk-in freezer. In effect an ice locker, the installation maintains a temperature of 3 degrees to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and has a custom misting system that enables the creation and maintenance of ice formations.


The “Ice Castles” window displays the blocks of ice as they morph into assorted sizes and shapes. Choreographed lighting in translucent shades of blue, green, red and purple give an other-world feel to the ice.


In the “Ice Carvings” window, artists from Okamoto Studio, a New York-based ice-carving collective, make daily appearances, sculpting the ice blocks into holiday-themed pieces of art. And because this is Barneys, the ice carvers are decked out in very fashionable gear by Thom Browne for Moncler Gamme Bleu.


Wintry themes also play out in the store’s additional holiday retail window. In “Winter Brilliance,” 700 hand-blown glass elements combine to resemble a grand crystalline explosion. The stunning sculpture, by famed artist Dale Chihuly, is set above a black pool of reflective water, giving it the appearance of being frozen in midair.


Taking it one step further, Barneys partnered with tech firm Christie Three Sixty to light the sculpture via 3D digital mapping. Choreographed effects are projected onto the sculpture. The lighting cycle starts with pure white before moving into a sequence of snow flurries, ending in a fiery display of red and yellow lights.


The final window, “Artic Chase,” reimagines the classic childhood “Penguin Chase” toy. Three crystal-encrusted penguins perch atop 3D-printed scale models of Lexus cars, racing around a translucent track. A screen plays an animated short (from Invisible Light Network studio) that tells the story of penguin heroine Penney and how races against some rather nefarious opponents.


Posted by Angel Carra | Request as a Speaker

On the go, mother of two, who believes things happen for a reason. SVP of Sparks Retail focused on driving the best client and customer experience – because I know how they want to be treated.