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Window dressers arrange displays of goods in shop windows or within a shop itself. They may work for design companies contracted to work for clients or for department stores, independent retailers, airport or hotel shops.
Alone or in consultation with product manufacturers or shop managers they artistically design and arrange the displays and may put clothes on mannequins and display the prices on the products.
They may hire joiners and lighting engineers to augment their displays. When new displays are required they have to dismantle the existing ones, and they may have to maintain displays during their lifetimes. Some window dressers hold formal display design qualifications.
Notable window dressers
- Raymond Loewy Early in his career he dressed windows for Macy's in New York.
- Gene Moore was a leading 20th century window dresser.
- Giorgio Armani the fashion designer once worked as a window dresser.
- Molina, one of the principal characters of Manuel Puig's novel Kiss of the Spider Woman, was a window dresser prior to his incarceration.
- Roseanne Barr worked as a waitress and a window dresser in Denver prior to her showbiz career.
- Simon Doonan. Window dresser for Barneys department store and columnist for Slate.
- Rhoda Morgenstern, a fictional character from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spinoff Rhoda, makes her living as a window dresser in Minneapolis and New York.
- L. Frank Baum, better known for his novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published a treatise on the art of window dressing.
- Christine McVie worked as a window dresser in London in the 1960s.
- Victor Hugo, a Venezuelan born artist, and one-time assistant to Andy Warhol, produced window dressings for Halston in the 1970s, becoming the first to transform windows and mannequins into Pop Art.
- Kent, Rosemary (May 24, 1976). "Drama Department: Comedy, Sex and Violence In Store Windows". New York Magazine (New York Media, LLC) 9 (21): 85. ISSN 0028-7369.