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NYC Holiday Windows Tournament Final Round: Bergdorf Goodman vs. Bloomingdale's

Adam Goldman
Written by
Adam Goldman

Holiday window displays are a staple of the season in New York. But you're busy buying presents, seeing the sights, sampling our many exquisite hot chocolates. What's to be done? Luckily we've got you covered: we've scoped out all the major players and we're gonna tell you which holiday window display you simply can't miss. With brackets! Buckle up, it's about to get festive.

Two displays enter, one display leaves. Who's it gonna be?

Bergdorf Goodman vs. Bloomingdale's

Well, it's been quite a journey. We started with eight competitors, and now we're down to the final two. When this process started, the president hadn't even been impeached yet! Wild, right?

What we're looking for in a winner is something that stops you in your tracks, evokes the festive season, and gives you something you've never seen before. Join us as we crown the best holiday window display in New York for 2019!

Courtesy Bloomingdale's/Joe Schildhorn/

Courtesy Time Out/Ali Garber

Holiday Cheer
Neither of these displays is serving Maximum Holiday Intensity—and honestly? I think they're stronger for it. This category is ultimately not the most important metric by which to judge our final round. That being said, the robot arms decking out the Christmas tree at Bloomingdale's just can't be beat. Am I a little obsessed with the robot arms? Maybe. I, for one, welcome our new holiday robot overlords.
Advantage: Bloomingdale's

Courtesy Bloomingdale's/Joe Schildhorn/

Neither Bergdorf Goodman nor Bloomingdale's can be accused of subtlety here, and that's as it should be. But while the Bloomingdale's vision of the future cries out for attention, the Bergdorf option draws you in with mystery and variety. "What exactly am I looking at here?" you are bound to ask as you creep toward one of these windows, each displaying a unique scene that takes a moment to parse because of the odd overhead perspective. It's that level of engagement that sets the Bergdorf display apart.
Advantage: Bergdorf Goodman

Courtesy Time Out/Ali Garber

Here we see two divergent strategies: Bloomingdale's goes hard with their "out of this world" concept, presenting future fashion as well as rocket ships, robots and space aliens with lobster claws for some reason. By contrast, Bergdorf uses each window to tell a separate story, as "each window captures a different and unexpected scene of revelry, celebration and indulgent fantasy," according to their website. The variety pays off!
Advantage: Bergdorf Goodman
I love me some camp, and I appreciate a sort of thrown-together aesthetic. (This is not shade!) There is something genuinely charming about the Bloomingdale's outer space scenes, like it's all some make-believe during play time, and we can all go hang out in a pillow fort later. But the detail on the Bergdorf windows is just exquisite. And the fashion of it all! 10's across the board.
Advantage: Bergdorf Goodman

Courtesy Time Out/Ali Garber

Winner: Bergdorf Goodman

Look, the truth is that if you go window-hunting this holiday season you will not be disappointed. There are so many gorgeous options to choose from, it's really a feast for the eyes. But based on our criteria, Bergdorf Goodman achieves something unforgettable and unique, and that's why they're our pick for 2019's best holiday window display. You can get a peek behind the scenes in this stirring video about the creation of their display, which took over a year to come together.

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