In 1955 I was working as a window decorator for the Lerner Shops, I had an assistant that proved to be much better at the job than I, she was more detail oriented, so we made a great team. We had 67 mannequins and our main job was to decorate the 6 windows in such a manner that would attract the people, bringing them into the store to buy. With this job came a lot of things that anyone who has never done this type of work would ever realize.
First of all it goes without saying that no matter what the article of clothing is that you are displaying it’s always the one the buyer wants. There may be others just like it on the racks inside the store, but it’s the one in the window that they really want. I guess maybe they think that the one in the window is something special or of a better quality. What ever the reason it goes with out fail that you will have to replace what ever you display at lease three or four times before you do a complete new window, of course this means you will be pressing and pinning garments along with all of your other display work, which includes interior setups, nitches, plus setting up for special sales etc. Remembering at all times that the costumer comes first. Then there are the times when you have your garments on a rolling rack all pressed and ready to go into the window when someone comes along, and starts going through them and wanting to try them on. This causes a little upset, even when they are shown their size is on a nearby rack. They usually fail to understand that these are the very same garments as the ones they wanted to try only the ones on our rack have been pressed and ready for our window display.
But I dare say that this is the real kicker, it happened one night. The next morning when we were approaching the store, we could see that the island window had been broken into, some Sick -O had taken indecent liberties will all of the mannequins, eighteen adults and seven children. Need I say that the window was a total disaster, the police department a detective and the criminal squad were all over the place trying to solve the puzzle, but no one ever did.
To this day, I cannot help but wonder where the police patrol were that night while all this was going on. I guess men must have been better back then than they are today; this happened long before Viagra was ever heard of.
I stayed there for several years then moved on to a larger department store which I found to be more interesting, while there I met a young man (Fred) who had recently worked as a buyer of children's wear in Boston . We became very good friends and spent much of our time together. My assistant at Lerner's’ became head of the display department after my leaving, she and I would often meet for lunch, we would discuss the pros and cons of displaying.
To be continued: