Aliens Have Landed At Bergdorf

No joke: this is one of the new spring window displays at Bergdorf Goodman.

Berg 01

Yep, aliens have landed at Bergdorf Goodman, and they’re not alone. Frankenstein came along for the ride…

Berg 03

…As did this raptor, and a number of other horror movie characters.

Berg 02

So assuming you have a soft spot for horror movies as I do, your reaction was probably about the same as mine on first glance: cool!

But now look back on the photos…at the almost total lack of detail…Remember that we’re still a good six months from Halloween…I gotta be honest: could Bergdorf have tried just a little bit harder? Do these even make an ounce of sense?

Let’s look at the alien one again – it’s just an alien next to a woman in a dress! That’s it! No background, no details, nothing!

Berg 01

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against weirdness. Frankly, my problem is the opposite: it’s nowhere near Bergdorf’s traditionally very high weird standards! For example, compare the above photo to the pictures that great New York photographer Wally G snapped in 2008:

NYC: Bergdorf Goodman's 2008 Holiday window display

NYC: Bergdorf Goodman's 2008 Holiday window display

Crazy, right? I know nothing about fashion or jewelry or whatever, yet the displays paint a really intriguing, creepy scene that would definitely make me stop and stare. Now compare them to, uh, this bear from the current series…

Berg 05

…or this Dracula one:

Berg 04

I don’t get it – why couldn’t they give our horror movie icons the treatment they deserve?! It’s like they were short on ideas, and Halloween Adventure was having a sale on full-size mannequins. Too bad.


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  1. Well, being in retail for 25 years, I can tell you that they are getting your attention by putting something odd in the window, then once they have your attention, you look at the dress. Its their way of highlighting the dress. Get attention, look for a sec, realize thats kind of weird, then oh, nice dress. Or maybe these lady mannequins needed a date, and all the male mannequins were busy watching sports in the electronics department, and the aliens and monsters said “Yea we’ll be their dates!” either way, it gets your attention. It got yours didn’t it?

  2. You’re right. The standard has dropped. Weird is cool. Sloppy weird – not so much

    • That is an UNDERSTATEMENT! Where once these windows, in all these fine stores, were grand and beautiful, what visual has become today, is a poor substitute to what it was back in the 70’s. The first thing you have to remember is the props have to compliment or have something in common with the product. What in hell does aliens and monsters have to do with women’s spring dresses.

  3. I was laid off during thanksgiving 2008 from my position as a junior visual director from macys. I did all the windows. When the recession hit a lot of department stores slashed their budgets. This department is always the first to take a hit. Sadly, I’ve also noticed scaling back of funding for visual elements in stores over the years. I think because so many new stores that open are in malls with no windows there is less demand for what I do. I had a good chuckle at the side by side comparison. I’ve noticed the new windows are lame, Bergdorf has always been a source of inspiration. It is because of the economy.

  4. Also I the 2008 photos appear to be holiday windows. That is when the most budget is spent, when the stores sales are the highest.

  5. I too worked for Bergdorf Goodman back in the mid seventies, when window displays were in it’s glory. Each store would compete for attention every Thursday morning, when NYC got to see all the new windows. We would wait till after the last customer left the store and the only people left inside was the visual dept. We would work over night to produce these fantastic windows that told stories with the product. Sadly the high cost of fabricating these wonders is now a thing of the past. No more do stores have the mega bucks to create what we used to years ago. So what you are seeing in these windows is a sad commentary on what’s going on in the world of display these days, cheap looking props, simple and ridiculous displays that have nothing to do with the product. How I long to see windows, in these great stores, do the kinds of displays they were once so famous for.