Although Gay Pride celebrations take place all over the world from Dublin to Buenos Aires, you still rarely see window displays at major retail stores that celebrating this event. Unless you are in The Castro, West Hollywood or Chelsea, most retail establishment are glad to take money from gay customers, but slow to acknowledge their existence by featuring them in their window displays. Rainbow decals in the window isn’t enough.
True the argument could me made that window displays at retail stores rarely reflect what their customers look like. Most window displays only feature YATS (the young, the anglo, the tall, the slender) and rarely have anyone of color, or full-figured or heaven forbid older than 25 represented in the window.
But given that retail window displays should be like street theatre, what could be more theatrical than YATS celebrating Gay Pride?
Last year this Gay Pride window display at a Diesel Store in San Francisco (but of course) went a little too far, in my opinion. But there were tourists lined up around the block to take photos. (Honey, we don’t have store windows like that in Kansas, do we?) And a good window display should get people to stop and look (and ideally come inside) Love their choice of mannequins though, but would like them better if they weren’t headless.
I preferred the window displays celebrating same sex unions that Canadian retailer Holt Renfrew did for Valentine’s Day. This would be just as appropriate for Gay Pride, just replace the red heart with a rainbow colored one. But given Diesel’s demographic, a window display promoting sexual aerobics is probably more appropriate than Holt Renfrew’s display of sexual intimacy.
While the Diesel window display had folks lining up to take photos, this very tame display at a Macy’s store in Boston in 2006 caused such an uproar it was removed. (but the signage listing gay pride events stayed up).
I think the uproar was because there were two male mannequins but because they were an INTERRACIAL couple. That would have been a hard sell in a place like Boston even if they were a straight couple! Not to mention one guy was wearing a “skirt or sarong” made from the gay flag (did he really buy that at Macy’s) which looked kinda cray, cray. And both men has extra large nipples poking out from underneath their t-shirts. What’s up with that? If there were two white guys wearing dockers and polo shirts, would there have been the same level of uproar. NOT!
Macy’s wasn’t taking any chances with their subsequent Gay Pride windows, which looked like this:
We at Mannequin Madness however think that no window display – especially at establishments selling clothing – looks good without mannequins in the window. If you are a bakery, you can get away without mannequins in the window. But every place else (including hardware stores and florists) needs a mannequin.
It doesn’t have to be a full mannequin, as this retailer in the Chelsea district in New York did for their Gay Pride windows.
The Marc Jacobs store in New York found a way to promote Gay Pride last year in their children’s store with a camping themed display that we think is adorable. Just kids going camping after going to the Gay Pride parade where they waved their rainbow flags celebrating . The ascot wearing kid with lavender colored shirt is making the gourmet marshmallow’s treats while the other little campers are going hiking.
If you see some interesting Gay Pride window displays, send us a photo so we can post on our blog. Our only requirement is that is MUST have a mannequin somewhere in the window. It doesn’t have to be a complete mannequin – could be a mannequin butt or torso or head- but something mannequin related. And if you need a new or used mannequin for your window display, visit MannequinMadness.com