Blog Post 3: Lighting in Window Displays

Blog Post 3: To What Extent Does Lighting in Window Displays Help to Sell Fashion Products?

During the week of Design Sprint, I was chosen to be a team leader. We were given the exciting challenge of designing a popup store for ‘One Mile Wear’, a high-end online fashion brand, focusing on lounge wear. Our team discussed at length how lighting can be used effectively to promote products effectively. Whilst reflecting upon this, I decided to do some extra research based on how lighting in window displays can help to sell fashion products. My findings gave me some extra ideas which I could share with my team on the Design Sprint.

In ‘Retail Marketing’, (2002), Peter McGoldrick states that ‘detailed decisions on displays and their positions are the responsibility of the company’s VM (visual merchandising) department.’ Peter McGoldrick has work in the area of finance and was a lecturer at Trinity College, Dublin between 2005 and 2008.  He is now a professor of Retailing at the University of Manchester. A window display, to me, says a lot about what a store stands for and if the public can see that the window is high-tech. the connotations linked with it, will intrigue people to see what is inside as well.  When I visited Berlin in January 2019, the busiest store on Kurfstandemdamn Rd (city centre) was the Apple Store.  As stated by Virgil Abloh (highly acclaimed fashion designer), in a Louis Vuitton brochure (December 2019), designers have to ‘listen to the heartbeat of the world’. I would say this is also very true for window dressers as well. Technology is increasingly everywhere and it is now widely used as a medium for socialising and having fun.  If I were a window dresser, I would certainly be making the most out of technology to sell fashion products.

Neon, flourescent & L.E.D. lighting is a concept which has been used for many years in window displays to catch the eye of the public and therefore sell fashion products. It still does.

In my view, the brightness certainly works to sell fashion for males and females. It certainly makes me stop on the pathway and draws me in to look at the garments. When I visited Berlin (January 2019), there were very brightly lit, subtle colours as a neon lighting backdrop for the female garments and accessories in Chanel’s window displays, which may be seen below. It was very simplistic, which Chanel is renowned for doing historically.

When I visited Berlin (January 2019), there were very bright and colourful neon lighting backdrops for the female garments and accessories in Chanel’s window displays.

It certainly caught my eye, as a window shopper and it made me stop and the look at the fashion products too.  I have also been on the internet and window displays which I felt used bright, neon lighting really effectively were: Top Shop, Oxford Street, Neon Summer Window, 2018; Nike Airmax, Niketown, N.Y.C., 2019; Nike Clothing Display N.Y.C., 2019; Louis Vuitton, Florida, 2018. They all made me want to stop and look more carefully. The ‘Top Shop’ window display below makes me want to read the brightly lit captions very carefully and ponder over them. Then, after thinking about them, I would then look at the fashion products to see how they link in.

The Louis Vuitton window display below makes me want to just stop and admire the beauty and elegance. It is, in my view, very exquisite and eye-catching for any passer-by, including myself.

See the source image

The Nike window displays, to me, are very powerful. They link in with the traditional stereotype of men ideally being powerful and competitive. I especially like the display below, which implies that that a trainer is so powerful that the force of it has sped through 4 panels. The L.E.D. lighting shows the impact of this connotation very well.

See the source image

The next Nike window display below has Hypermodernism connotations, through using a green colour and using the caption ‘more air, more miles’. Green is a colour typically used by designers, when implying to a consumer that we need to be looking after our planet. Also, the caption is telling the consumer that if they buy this type of trainer that they will last a very long time and therefore subconsciously they will also be thinking they are not wasting the world’s resources too. The trainers will be classed as being sustainable fashion. In this age of Hypermodernism, we are enjoying technology but also appreciating the fact that we need to preserve the world’s natural resources too.

See the source image

So, I conclude that there are many forms of lighting which can be used creatively to entice customers into a fashion store and indeed spend money too. It is an aspect which most certainly cannot be ignored.


McGoldrick, P. (2002), ‘Retail Marketing’, Ch.12, P.474, McGraw Hill Education

Sources of Images

The window display photos were taken with my mobile phone in:

– Oxford Street, London

– Kurfurstendamm Rd, Berlin

Window Display images taken from the internet:

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