Henri Bendel, Holiday Windows

Jennifer Cooper, E!

Holiday shopping is upon us! One way to tell for sure? The festive window displays featured at department stores in Manhattan.

One of our favorites: The classic, ultra-New York holiday displays at Henri Bendel. The luxury goods store always presents iconic, whimsical windows that epitomize why the holiday season in the Big Apple is like no other. Last year's installment was a star-studded feature inspired by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld's celebrity drawings—the Bendel windows showcased Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Sarah Jessica Parker, among others.

E! News caught up with Henri Bendel Creative Director Pina Ferlisi to get the scoop on this season's holiday windows before the big reveal next week. Here's what she shared:

Henri Bendel, Holiday Windows

Jennifer Cooper, E!

What was your inspiration for this year's holiday windows?
My inspiration for this year's windows was a secret enchanted garden. I wanted the store to have a storybook feel and for our customers to discover whimsical treasures and romantic displays of beautiful product throughout our store. We brought an enchanted garden to life right here on Fifth Avenue.

How many people are involved in this process?
A lot! Initially, the process starts off with myself and our small visual design team—we brainstorm  and come up with a concept. From there, we work with artists, freelancers and a production team to execute the concept. From start to finish we may work with 20 or 30 different people.

Henri Bendel, Holiday Windows, Sketches

Henri Bendel

How long is the process?
The design process starts early in the year and it usually takes eight to nine months to complete. This year, we started brainstorming around February and settled on a finalized idea shortly after that.

Describe the design process from start to finish.
Designing windows and interiors is very different from designing a handbag or jewelry which I do every day. It requires so much planning. It starts with storyboards, then designs, then materials, sketches and production. We install overnight in mid-November and the windows get unveiled and displayed for six weeks!

How do you come up with the concept?
Henri Bendel has always been known for its imaginative holiday window displays. My team and I are inspired by New York and our iconic landmark store on Fifth Avenue: We usually start with a classic New York theme and brainstorm from there. Millions of tourists and New Yorkers walk by our windows during the holiday season and each year we aim to transform our flagship into a magical shopping destination.

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