NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The holiday season is still months away, but that isn’t stopping Macy’s creative team from working like they’re in the North Pole to get their iconic window displays ready in time.
CBSN New York’s John Dias got a behind-the-scenes look.
They’re working faster than Santa’s elves to help bring the holiday spirit to New York.
For months, the Macy’s team has been in Brooklyn, hand-making every last item for this year’s display at the Herald Square store. Pretty much creating it right after they took down last year’s.
“We take it down in January, then by February, they’re coming at us with concepts, we’re working together to pull some visuals, hearing what their team has to say and making samples. Then, we really start designing, building around June,” Megan Watters, producer with Standard Transmission Productions, told Dias.
Watters said it’s a dream come true for these artists to be on the team. It takes about 60 people to get all six windows together.
“Everything single thing that’s in the window passes through so many people’s hands. So it’s designed, then we have our props team sculpting it, putting it together, the animators make it an animation, painters paint it,” she said.
So many fine details go into every last step.
“These are exact replicas of the floor space at Macy’s. There’s marks on the floor that show us where the columns are, where we plug in, things like that,” said Watters. “It’s a really tight space, and we need to make sure that everything fits perfectly.”
To keep track, most of the props are also marked, some in numerical order.
“It’s a very organized process,” props assistant Ama Adams said.
The history of the windows goes back nearly 150 years when Macy’s had porcelain dolls on display in the 1870s. Now, with more than 10,000 people walking by every hour, thins have changed.
This year, the Macy’s team is getting as interactive as possible with kaleidoscopes and Santa Claus selfies. Each window will have something different.
“It’s not only window shopping and coming into the store, for us, it’s really the gift that we give to the city and the idea of interacting with our customers,” said Roya Sullivan, national window director for Macy’s.
Sullivan said this year you can expect one of the brightest displays yet.
“What we haven’t done is really played with the beautiful chromes and the lighting and the LED. That’s really what’s new, and the customers are really going enjoy that.”
The team will start to transport the gear at the end of October. Giving themselves two weeks to install it and almost two months for the public to enjoy it. Then, it’s back to square one, all over again.