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Racked Recap 2008: The Worst Windows

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With only a few days left in 2008, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, of one major economic collapse and many minor shopping frenzies. Folks, it's the annual (two years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the craziest salesfloor clusterf*cks to the longest lines. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.

From epic lengths of glass to miniscule display cubes, we've had quite the variety of store windows this past year, and it's not surprising that some of them totally sucked. After all, windows may be changed as often as weekly, which means any idea will do. From our extensive "In the Window" archives for 2008, we've narrowed down the nastiness to the Top Five Worst Windows. This time no one is safe, not even Marc Jacobs.

5.) Ralph Lauren's Holiday Horseplay: While we totally understand that Ralph Lauren's whole aesthetic circles around the equestrian culture, he seems incapable of doing interesting windows without sticking huge glittery horses in them...or piles of polo gear...or giant gold belt buckles. These windows could easily be Ralph Lauren 1988 instead of 2008.

4.) Steve & Barry's Stagnant Ode to Sex and the City: Alas, this window on the side of Manhattan Mall exists no more, but for many, many months we stared at the usual gaggle of girls outfitted in Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten clothing at $8.98 a piece. It was dusty, and drab and humdrum.

3.) Marc's Megalomania: What's one more way to sell T-shirts other than just slapping your name on them? Screen a picture of your face on a magazine cover onto them! When Marc Jacobs' Interview feature for June arrived on newsstands, his Bleecker Street stores decided to forego showcasing product in favor of blowing up the wack-o images and selling totebags of the same.

2.) Bloomingdale's Hosts the Harajuku Lovers Live: This is how you spell "awkward." When Bloomie's cleared out their windows and invited Gwen Stefani's backup dancers to hop around inside of them while promoting nylon bags, the retail world wept. All the panty-flashing, press and robot dancing sounds like a great time if it weren't limited to a half-hour behind thick glass.

1.) Juicy Couture's Improper Kilting of the West Village and Midtown: Kilt-wearers of the city united to condemn Juicy Couture for both displaying kilts that they do not sell and then belting them onto the mannequins backwards. Their's is the recipe for a window fail: fill the windows with products you don't even sell and then flaunt your unfamiliarity with the items by displaying them improperly. Good job, Juicy.

Marc Jacobs Collection

385 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012 212 343 1490 Visit Website