Window shopping: To look at articles in the windows of stores without making any purchases. (Verb, originating 1925-1930)
One of the unfortunate consequences of American shopping malls is the demise of an authentic window shopping experience. Stores may place mannequins or products near the windows, but the Art of Window Design has nearly vanished. Those windows were a pleasure to view and served their purpose to draw customers in.
I grew up in the Chicago area. A trip to State Street in downtown Chicago to see the Marshall Field’s and Carson Pirie Scott windows was intoxicating. For many years, my chosen occupation was simply “I want to decorate the windows at Marshall Field’s.”
Travel to Europe reminded me that stores still care about advertising through window shopping. That beautiful displays of merchandise still matter. That customers can still be lured into a store simply by what they see in the window. And that I am among them.
Here is a photo gallery of some of the windows I’ve been fortunate to see during my travels. They are all true window displays, behind glass and carefully arranged. They are a gift to passersby. And today, they are my gift to you.
Photos by Suzanne Ball. All rights reserved.