[disclaimer is on the October 7th post]
I spent a whole year dressing the windows of the Georgetown Park Victoria Secret store. I’m looking at the pictures accompanying this morning’s Post story, â€œSkimpy Underwear, Ample Commentary At Tysons Corner – Shoppers Appalled, Transfixed By Racy Store Display at Mallâ€ and I just donâ€™t understand why thereâ€™s suddenly an uproar. Iâ€™m not seeing whatâ€™s so different from the old window displays. We were one of the earliest stores to start phasing out the white mannequins in favor of the flesh-colored ones, if I remember correctly, so Iâ€™m pretty sure those have been around for a while.
Maybe itâ€™s just difficult to gauge from the pictures. Is it the shoes? I honestly donâ€™t remember if the mannequins always wore shoes in the Good Old Days. Highheels and thigh-highs most assuredly create more provocative poses than barefoot mannequins, no doubt about that.
Mostly we had those stupid bustforms, which were a challenge to dress. On the upside, it was very easy to pin the merchandise on them so once you dressed them they stayed dressed. Mannequins arenâ€™t as easy to manage.
Maybe if I saw the Tysonâ€™s display in person Iâ€™d get what the fracas is about? I walked by a display at Pentagon City recently and donâ€™t remember anything different, other than the fact that they are now cramming way too many mannequins into each window, which looks cluttered. The windows have never been artistic, theyâ€™ve always been a visual merchandiserâ€™s definition of hell. Static and uninspired, with zero option for creativity or deviation from the designs dispatched from the home office in Ohio. It is, after all, a corporation with a visual identity to protect, I do get that.
From the pictures that accompany the article, it appears to just be more of the same.
According to an 8 month old complaint on a consumer affairs website in Raleigh, North Carolina, the VS display featured thong-wearing, blindfolded mannequins in suggestive positions. I could see that being questionable in a mall, but thereâ€™s not mention of that in reference to the Tysonâ€™s article.
This part of the article was so funny I nearly choked on my coffee:
â€œIâ€™m anxious to see for myself what the buzz is all about,â€ John Zolldan wrote in an e-mail to the mall management, â€œand if it is really true that Victoria no longer has any secrets . . . maybe your intent is to provide consumers in Northern Virginia with our first erotic boutique.â€
Dear Mr Zolldan, you clearly need to get out more. Not only are the plenty of adult stores in Northern Virginia, but one local chain, Night Dreams has itâ€™s flagship store in Tysonâ€™s Corner. Driving, itâ€™s .81 miles from Night Dreams to Tysonâ€™s Corner, according to mapquest. As the crow flies, I suspect itâ€™s roughly one quarter of a mile. Either way, itâ€™s 2-5 minutes away.
(The Night Dreams site is probably not work-safe. I guess. Depends on where you work).
UPDATE: edited a few points for clarity. Specifically: why I mention shoes on mannequins. And that I understand why corporations want uniformity in their shop windows so that people can quit emailing me lectures on corporate identity and why individual stores donâ€™t get to design their own displays. I get it. I get it. Really, I get it.