Creating holiday cheer: holiday decor not only helps distinguish retail brands but continues on age-old legacy.

Holiday Image highlighted by industry magazine DDI for work at Cartier and Hugo Boss.

Part of what makes the holidays so magical is visiting the local shopping center–or walking magnificent shopping districts such as Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue–and experiencing the beauty of holiday decor. The season just wouldn’t be the same without the colorful lights, tinseled trees and cheerful music.

Holiday Image Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y., is a company that knows just how to help retailers express their brand and create an experience for consumers over the holidays. “Some of the common stuff we’re finding is that everyone is so interested in distinguishing themselves,” says Matthew Schwam, president and CEO, Holiday Image Inc. He and Steven Wilburn, former visual director of Saks Fifth Avenue, recently formed the decor company, and are working on several exciting holiday projects that include retailers such as Hugo Boss, Cartier, Calvin Klein, Tiffany and Burberry.

Schwam has had the opportunity of working with many retailers on designing, fabricating and installing holiday décor programs. And currently, the predominant theme in holiday décor is creating an experience. “There’s a trend toward utilizing technology – LEDs, fiber optics, strobes – to enhance a display, creating an experience for people.” he points out.

This year, Holiday Image, Inc. teamed up with Hugo Boss to design a pink glowing, winter display at its Fifth Avenue flagship in New York. “We had a 40-ft. ceiling and a glass box, and we had this opportunity for one giant statement on this art wall. We decided to tie into their marketing campaign, which is pink stars, and we built a 30-ft. sequined star.” Schwam says. “We took the pink theme and lit the entire glass box with pink uplights. We fabricated mirrored stars and band those as well. It’s extraordinary.” The 30-ft. star is sure to catch attentions with its surface covered in 17,500 pink sequins.

Another holiday décor project on Fifth Avenue is Cartier’s traditional red ribbons and how that cascades down the side of the retailer’s building. This year, however, the 215-ft red ribbon and 8 ft. bow will be completely lit for the first time – with 95,000 custom red LED lights.
“With a project of this scale, I bring in a structural engineer, and we put him in the room from the very first design meeting so that we can design step by step with safety in mind, and you’ve got to be pinpoint accurate with everything you do.” Schwam says.

As retailers raise the bar on their holiday décor programs, more time is needed for design, fabrication and installation. Schwam’s suggestion is “Start early. Start in the first quarter, and you’ll get everything you want.” he advices, in terms of cost and time. So, start now – next year’s holiday season is just around the corner.

©2005 Display & Design Ideas