22 Dec2009


Two years ago I did a post on a Madison Avenue Luxury Goods Stroll, a pleasant afternoon walking up and down the street with some of the world’s fanciest shops… Whenever we are in New York City around the holidays, we love to see what the stores have on offer, and their windows are at their finest at this time of year. Since the Teen and I were in New York for Thanksgiving, we set aside some time to do the stroll late one afternoon/early evening. While we expected things to be a bit reserved given the current economic situation, we actually found windows to be lively and positive… Of course I start with what is now my favorite display on Madison Avenue, the food table/tableau at Dolce & Gabbana. If you go to my earlier post in the link above, you’ll see their table from 2 years ago as well. Laden with sweets, nuts, flowers, candlelabra, etc., it was just incredibly festive, abundant, and certainly put me in a holiday mood!


So this year’s stroll starts at Saks Fifth Avenue/Rockefeller Center, where the tree was up, but not yet lit. A few blocks north and the iconic red ribbon at the Cartier building comes into view. Many, many years ago, this building was exchanged by the lady who owned it for a single stunning necklace of South Sea pearls I once read somewhere. Even at their finest, a strand of enormous and luminous pearls wouldn’t fetch more than a couple of million dollars these days I don’t think. But this corning building on 5th? Fifty Million minimum. Hmmm, I think Cartier got the better deal, don’t you?


Fendi’s boringly plebeian/modern facade is spruced up with two simple belts that are lit up. They look like a filigree, and at night they were simply beautiful and appropriately elegant.


The Teen gazes into the windows at Henri Bendel’s, where the candy display was rather stunning. Others took a brief gander as they walked by…


The enormous star at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street was gorgeous this year (didn’t realize it’s design is altered slightly each year), and for some reason sports a little “unicef” logo…


One corner of this retail nirvana is Harry Winston, in case you wanted to pick up some serious bling…


…or head across the street and enter Tiffany’s, which was simply but stunningly decorated. Things must be tough on the jewelry front this year, as a simple question from The Teen and Marketman about a stunning bracelet led to viewing an incredible array of serious jewelry and follow up calls from a rather anxious and on commission salesperson. She was extremely pleasant but clearly wanted to make a sale. I don’t think she was aware she was calling the Philippines at that point…


On the northwest corner of the same intersection is Bergdorf Goodman, that temple of style and taste. The Men’s store, across the street, is the place to go to check out what is in style at the moment, at least for the older foggies like me… :) But prices seemed astronomical, or perhaps I have just been gone from NY for too long…


The last anchor tenant on this intersection is the relatively new, and absolutely humongous Louis Vuitton shop. We would have walked right by this place except for the fact that the windows were totally amusing. The clever use of functioning flight boards like in the airports stopped us in our tracks. And if you stayed for a minute or so, the displays changed automatically…


Even getting rather cheeky at times!


From here we cut over to Madison Avenue, took in the windows at Burberry (uninspired large red Christmas balls), hit the corner shop of Coach with very colorfully lit windows, and headed up Madison past Barney’s and other shops. I think the Teen and I passed Valentino Garavani right on the street, near his eponymous shop, Valentino, and we kept going until getting to Tom Ford’s space, which takes customers by appointment only.


Perhaps the only thing I could afford at this nearly bespoke shop would be the sunglasses…


Shops had started to close at this point, so we continue up town but managed to see this window at the Ralph Lauren shop on 72nd… the windows featured a holiday display, and the window within the window had a constantly changing video projected onto it of a fireworks display… very clever! With the recent snowfall in the city, I am sure all of this looks even better than it did a few weeks ago!



  1. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    The last photo is so postcard Christmas, very nostalgic, Awesome!….Can’t wait to see the displays of the food purveyors as seen thru your eyes!!!

    Dec 22, 2009 | 7:43 am


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  3. chinachix says:

    beautiful pictures! the belt-themed lights at Fendi was very nice indeed…didn’t know Tom Ford has set up his eponymous boutique as well….

    Dec 22, 2009 | 7:48 am

  4. millet says:

    spent one unforgettable christmas in new york a long time ago, and have been wishing to spend another one there since.

    Dec 22, 2009 | 9:07 am

  5. joanie says:

    great pictures Mr. MM. But living in NY, those are two of the Avenues I try to avoid during holiday season.

    Dec 22, 2009 | 11:17 am

  6. sister says:

    Joanie, why avoid Madison and Fifth, it costs nothing to look! Wouldn’t be caught dead on 34th Street at Macy’s, now that’s an insane destination.
    Happy Christmas!

    Dec 22, 2009 | 9:37 pm

  7. Marketfan says:

    Thanks for the gift of these photos. Very imaginative store windows. You should see the displays in China. They’re still happy with the inflatable Santas. :-)

    Dec 22, 2009 | 10:59 pm

  8. Vicky Go says:

    Were there no animated Christmas window displays? People used to queue up just to look at those – the Saks Fifth Avenue ones are usually one of the best. They start working on those after they take down the current one!

    Dec 22, 2009 | 11:10 pm


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