Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Bergdorf Goodman's holiday video Unleashed, which stars a pack of dogs racing happily around the department store, left us with many questions. A large number of those questions ran along the lines of "Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy with floppy ears?" But we were also curious about the circumstances under which the clip was made, so we emailed Aidan Kemp, Vice President and Creative Director at Bergdorf Goodman, to find out the back story.
First, some basic logistics. The film crew shot the video in two parts. The first sequence ran from 4am to 4pm on October 30, with the indoor scenes filmed early in the morning before customers arrived. A second sequence was filmed in mid-November after the holiday windows went up, also starting at sunrise. The dogs are well-trained and came accompanied by handlers, so the crew trusted them to roam freely around the store. As for the doorman who adopts the pup at the end, he really does work at Bergdorf. His name is James, and you can find him at the 58th Street entrance.
Below, Aidan Kemp answers some of our queries. Pet owners should note, by the way, that Bergdorf is currently quite dog-friendly. You can buy Goyard dog gifts there, and they're offering holiday treats for visiting pets in the second floor Shoe Salon.
What inspired the concept for the video?
As an organization, Bergdorf Goodman partners with a number of important and worthwhile organizations during the holiday period. This year we are supporting United Way. The inspiration for the video was to take that approach one step further and to somehow include an amazing charity into our holiday video and to remind people that during the holiday season, we should be thinking about those less fortunate than ourselves, whether they're humans or animals.
What was it like filming the clip? Was it tough wrangling all those dogs?
It wasn't necessarily easy, but the ensuing chaos and insanity was exactly what we wantedwe really wanted to convey that the dogs literally "owned" the store and were free to get up to whatever sort of mischief they wanted.
Any cute stories from the shoot?
Too many to mention, but the scene with Salty and the Polar Bear was particularly endearing. Actually, any scene with Salty (the little one who gets adopted at the end) sort of breaks your heart.
Where did the dogs come from?
All the dogs came from Kate Perry Dog Training. She's a highly respected professional trainer and proved to be an invaluable partner during the entire casting and filming process.
· Watch Four Minutes of Dogs Running Through Bergdorf [Racked NY]
· Bergdorf Celebrates the Holidays with Hundreds of Puppies [Racked NY]