They’re so important yet they’re walked by everyday, only noticed when it’s time for a new pair of shoes, a jacket or a dress. Window displays can be entertainment in their own right – if you understand how they work and how you can capture the interest of passers-by. I’m not talking about Christmas windows (a phenomenon unto themselves) but things that step just outside the box and prove we’re capable of simple and effective messages and displays of good taste, design and humour whilst simultaneously extending brand awareness, albeit subtly and without the viewer feeling like they’re being sold to. Which is exactly what they’re doing.

These are three very different examples that have made me stop and smile over the last week.

At Dakota 501 on Chapel Street, there is an amazing window display of denim. Folded and stacked 50 high in varying shades of indigo, the entire front window is a very cleverly arranged shrine to denim and Wrangler. It breaks the mould, yet has me wanting to know a little more about the product. A job well done.

In the city at Incu there is the rare treat of an interactive window. They don’t strictly do window displays here, such is the design and shape of the store, but what they have done is get people interested in the store, designed by our friends Summit of the Minds. How? Well, some of you might have played with or seen the magnetic words you make sentences with on your fridge. Think that, only each piece is about the width of your fridge. Using velcro to adhere to the window, disparate words are put together to form funny and obscure sentences for everyone to read.

Finally, at the other end of the spectrum, stands the venerable old house of Hermes, but like your grandpa in a cool pair of sneakers there is nothing better than an old school master working with new-school apprentices. Right now in the windows of Collins Street there are pieces from the current Hermes range, all in black. The rest of the space is black, and dotted throughout are two-foot tall gnomes painted matte black. It’s the kind of space/installation that on paper sounds a little eerie, but can’t help but put a smile on your face when you see it. There are subtle and clever nods to Hermes’ innate Frenchness (think Amelie) and having beautifully made and tailored products to back you up doesn’t hurt either.

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