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Winter in the Windows
IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS...
This seasonal song is certainly ringing true at Simons as we recently installed our stunning window displays for the holidays. What's waiting for you as you pass in front of the glass? Snowy scenes presented in pale pinks and gorgeous light greens! Our windows are now home to a wintery, 3D-world filled with snow-capped mountains, white birches, fir trees, a few feathered friends, and, of course, a flurry of fashion.
COMING UP WITH THE CONCEPT
Work on the windows' winter wonderland started much earlier than you might think. Back in February, a team of Simons' head creative and visual presentation directors met to begin the process of brainstorming ideas for the theme of this year's display. After months of research and careful thought, they finally presented their ideas to Simons' CEO, Peter Simons, at the end of May. Once Mr. Simons chose "winter" as the winning concept, the team turned their attention to bringing this theme to life.
SETTING THE SCENE
Simons enlisted the talent of Quebec artist Paule Thibault to design the images for the backdrop.
Inspired by her majestic mountains, the other elements for the window started to take shape. The team designed fantastic fir trees to contrast with the beautiful, bare birches standing in the snow, and created striking depth for the display by spacing out the layers of the landscape.
When it came to colour, the team chose a unique scheme for this winter scene that's magical in a way altogether different from the usual glitter and glam of the holidays. They went with a pinky red and pale green, two tones that are not only trending this season, but that also add a softer, warmer, and more inviting feel to this interpretation of winter.
They then perched cardinals covered in a rich, punchy red on the tree branches to complement both backdrop colours beautifully. (Keep your eyes peeled for these bright little birds in all our holiday visuals—from our shopping bags, to our gift cards, and even the giant wreath decorating our head office in Old Quebec!)
SUPPLIERS AND THE NEED FOR SPEED
As soon as the window design was finalized in July, Simons placed orders for the different display elements with its suppliers straight away. Not only were all the pieces custom-made for the company, but they also were made to measure for every store window since, like every Simons store, each one is utterly unique and has different dimensions. Completing and delivering these one-of-a-kind pieces in time for the holidays meant the suppliers needed to receive the requests as soon as possible.
AN INTRICATE INSTALLATION
A month before the start of the holiday season, Chantal Perron, the Visual Presentation Coordinator at Simons, sent step-by-step instructions to each store’s visual presentation team on how to assemble the displays. As many of the trees are quite fragile, installing them in the windows was an intricate process and took some definite skill. Despite their tricky task, all teams did a terrific job, and since being on display since the beginning of November, these windows have been wowing in every store.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT WINDOW
With 23 years of experience as part of Simons’ Visual Presentation team, Perron knows what it takes to make great windows. "Attention to detail, superbly styled mannequins, a balanced composition, and lighting that’s just right," she says. “But as with everything for holidays—from decking the halls, to cooking fantastic feasts—this season gives you the opportunity to go the extra mile, to do a little more, and to really connect with people on a more personal level.”
Written on the glass of our windows, you'll find the words "Peace," “Love,” and “Joy." Perron explains that in such uncertain times, it’s hopeful, positive wishes like these that Simons would like to offer each and every person that passes by. “In this way, the windows are a bit like our hand-written holiday card to world.”
When people are truly touched by what they see and stop to appreciate the work of Perron and her team, she still gets a thrill. “When I hear people comment about how wonderful the windows look, it's like getting paid twice! I know then that what we’ve done is a success.”