The Grammys and the Golden Globes have happened and the Oscars are coming up, but the 2024 award season wouldn’t be complete without the annual WindowsWear Awards.
The WindowsWear Awards ceremony, held at Nebula in New York City last week with more than 500 guests, celebrate a range of projects in visual merchandising, display and media by retailers and brands, including the most outstanding windows, pop-ups, lighting, interiors, even the best mannequin of the year — 26 categories in all.
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“The brands have really been betting on experiences and exhibits that people can touch, interact with, photograph, these immersive experiences so a lot of our nominees and winners latched on the idea of interacting and touching,” said Raul Tovar, cofounder and creative director of WindowsWear.
Macy’s, which generally doesn’t get as much credit for its windows as other department stores, won the award for best window display, while Harrods received the award for the best holiday window.
Tiffany & Co. won for best interior; Michael Kors won for best pop-up, and Marc Jacobs received the honor for the best installation of the year.
Best use of light went to Saks x Dior for the spectacular holiday display on the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship facade.
Givenchy won for having the best mannequin; Loewe, for best packaging, and David Yurman won for best social media campaign.
Simon Doonan, the former Barneys window dresser known for his irreverent displays, each year gives his own award based on what he thinks is special, so he gave the Simon Doonan Award to Swarovski for the brand’s Fifth Avenue store.
“Over the last few years we added some categories — set design, for example, is a new category. It’s a category we believe is here to stay. If we see a great pop-up from Prada or Gucci, it could be nominated for the heritage award or interactive experience award, so brands have more opportunities to be nominated in a category. Two years ago, we added NFT as a category but we took it down because we didn’t see it as a strong trend last year,” Tovar said.
To determine the award winners, Tovar and his creative team reviewed about 5,000 photos, and selected nine nominees per category. The nominations were revealed online and the members of WindowsWear community and other contacts around the world for three months could vote for the winners. “It’s a democratic process,” Tovar said. “Sometimes we see hundreds of votes coming in from an individual company or the same domain. Apparently somebody sent an interoffice email communication, to please vote. It gets very competitive.”
Tovar said it’s roughly a yearlong process to come up with nominees in each category. “I’m already working on next year. I don’t want to miss anything.”
The awards ceremony started with an opening video about “creativity,” in which WindowsWear asked 80 creatives in the industry to describe what it means to be creative. Their responses were brought to life using AI voice generators. Harari and Tovar, as well as Mike Niemtzow, another WindowsWear cofounder, presented the winners, who were revealed via live video. The crowd then partied on to music by DJ Lucia Haze, custom drinks from Bacardi, and Shake Shack bites offered by models in WindowsWear branded uniforms.
“The WindowsWear Awards is the best reflection of WindowsWear’s content and community by showcasing the best projects and featuring the best creatives from the world’s top brands in an exciting event that takes place annually in New York City,” said Jon Harari, cofounder and chief executive officer of Windowswear.
Added Tovar, “We had more brands than ever attending our event and participating in the award process; Harrods and Gucci flew in. Usually it’s the fashion designers getting the awards. But brands and retailers understand they invest a lot of money and time in what they are creating visually, and should be recognized for it.”
WindowsWear has a comprehensive database of content used by creatives, retailers and brands around the world to research visual merchandising, social media and e-commerce campaigns; retail designs; window displays, and packaging.
The other award winners were:
Best AR/VR experience: Coach
Best prop: Kate Spade
Best collaboration: Rabanne x H&M
Best use of color: Calvin Klein
Best interactive experience: Gucci
Best neighborhood installation: Rodeo Drive
Set design: Victoria’s Secret
Best digital experience: Hermès
Gamification: Tommy Hilfiger
Email marketing: Ralph Lauren
Brand strategy: Bottega Veneta
Most liked on social media: Bergdorf Goodman
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