Bus Stop, the Philadelphia-based footwear boutique known for its mix of eclectic brands like United Nude, Gee Wawa and Pskaufman, has taken an avant-garde approach to dressing its holiday window.
The gallery-like store, owned by London-native Elena Brennan, enlisted architect, visual merchandiser and visual guru Conrad Booker to deck the halls with an untraditional holiday theme, “Phoenix Rising From The Ashes.” Booker, who generated buzz on Project Runway’s 2014 “Road to the Runway” episode, dressed the store’s windows for the first time last summer with an “It-Brit” theme (a nod to Brennan’s home country) complete with a towering telephone-teapot hybrid and untraditional royal guard.
Bus Stop store manager Aubrie Costello said, “In Greek mythology, a Phoenix is a long-lived bird that is reborn that takes on new life by rising from the ashes of its predecessor, so we thought it was the perfect story to tell for the new year. It is a fresh start.” She added, “Plus, it reminded us a bit of Alexander McQueen and the theatrics he applied to fashion.”
The window features Phoenix bedecked with a fiery mohawk, corseted bodice, and dramatic black feather wings, which Costello said Booker meticulously made just for the installation. Phoenix rises from the flames with a flood of ankle boots and versatile dress shoes, which Costello noted have had good sell-through this winter, at its feet.
Bus Stop’s “Phoenix Rising From The Ashes” nabbed second place in the city’s Window Wonderland competition, which Costello said is a great event that helps draw shoppers to small business owners. She added, “We’re surrounded by a lot of unique businesses that have great merchandise and windows all year round, but the holidays make it extra special.”