Window dressers arrange displays of goods in shop windows or within a shop itself. Such displays are themselves known as "window dressing". 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
- Giorgio Armani, the fashion designer once worked as a window dresser.
- Roseanne Barr worked as a waitress and a window dresser in Denver prior to her showbiz career.
- L. Frank Baum, better known for his novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published a treatise on the art of window dressing.
- Salvador Dali, the surrealist artist was commissioned by Bonwitt Teller to do a store window instillation in 1939 which ended in headlines.
- Simon Doonan, Window dresser for Barneys department store and columnist for Slate.
- David Hoey - famed for his work at Bergdorf Goodman most notably on their Christmas season spectaculars.
- 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.
- Raymond Loewy, Early in his career he dressed windows for Macy's in New York.
- Christine McVie, worked as a window dresser in London in the 1960s.
- Gene Moore, was a leading 20th century 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.
- 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 City.
- Joel Schumacher, the film director was once a window dresser employed by the store Henri Bendel.
- Lieutenant Hubert Gruber, a character from the sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, was a window dresser before his spell in the army. This is frequently alluded to, mainly for comedic effect.
- Armstrong, Lisa (June 9, 2015). "Giorgio Armani celebrates 40 years in fashion with Cate and Leo". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Barr, Roseanne. "Roseanne Barr". Huffington Post.
- Lague, Louise; Shopper, Window (November 12, 1989). "THE ULTIMATE MARKETPLACE; It's Not Just Window Dressing". The New York Times.
- Matiash, Chelsea (November 17, 2014). "Behind the Scenes: Bergdorf Goodman's Holiday Window Display". The Wall Street Journal.
- 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.
- "Gene Moore, 88, Window Display Artist, Dies". The New York Times. November 26, 1998.
- Davis, Kimberly Chabot (2007-01-01). Postmodern Texts and Emotional Audiences. Purdue University Press. ISBN 9781557534798.
- Trager, James (2010-09-07). The New York Chronology: The Ultimate Compendium of Events, People, and Anecdotes from the Dutch to the Present. Zondervan. ISBN 9780062018601.
- Johnston, Sheila (May 29, 1993). "FILM / Damaged goods in the shop window: He's upset America's Hispanics and Koreans, and he's not exactly the toast of Los Angeles. Is Joel Schumacher sorry? Is he hell. Sheila Johnston reports". The Independent. London.