Window Wizards is a special holiday series featuring a behind-the-scenes survey of the creative visionaries behind New York’s highly anticipated holiday windows. For today’s interview, we had a chance to speak with Matt Reed, Vice President of Visual Merchandising at Saks Fifth Avenue. Matt is part of a team that has been assembling the windows that adorn the historical department store for nearly a year. We are thrilled to feature a few behind-the-scenes moments that describe the magical setting his team has created on the day set for the windows’ unveiling.
What three words best describe the 2014 holiday windows at Saks Fifth Avenue?
Enchanted, Mesmerizing, and Legendary.
How many years have you been a member of the visual team?
I have been a member of the visual team for three and a half years.
How many hours does it take to install the holiday windows?
From the original concept meeting to the window installation, the holiday displays take 11 months to complete, which equals over 2,500 hours per person.
What is the most exquisite item in the windows?
It is quite difficult to say as I love many of the window details we crafted this year. However, if I had to choose, the tiny, animatronic fairies would be on top of my list.
What is the most unexpected item in the windows?
There are hidden surprises in each of the New York fairy-tale themed windows! We welcome customers and visitors to search for the winking moon overlooking the park, the underground elfin in the subway, and the malevolent enchanter in Times Square.
This holiday season, we aim to enchant with our windows and leave New York breathless!
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My favorite holiday tradition is honestly the time my team and I spend after the unveiling, observing how the crowd responds and interacts with the displays. This is what we have been working for all year. Not only that, seeing the crowd’s reaction is so crucial in developing the themes for the next year. We want our customers to feel like they are a part of the spectacle and the magic.