Visual Merchandising Trends: Animal Instincts

October, 20th 2017

The implementation of animal imagery and figurines is an emerging visual merchandising trend in the retail sector, especially for store windows. The combination of unique accessories and creative mannequin compositions, based on animal forms, to display products creates both a story and that special “wow” effect to attract the attention of customers. This special report analyses how luxury brands and department stores are effectively employing this fantastical and sometimes fearsome visual merchandising trend.

Read on to discover what’s caught our eye while window shopping:

/ Up In The Air

In addition to birds, flying insects such as butterflies and bees, are creatures commonly used in animal inspired store windows. The sky is the limit for avian storytelling, with brands creating installations featuring giant solitary crows, flock of flying swifts and monochrome wading birds. Tropical birds, including flamingos or toucans, are a stylish addition to any store particularly when combined with special lighting effects.

For the launch of the exclusive shoulder bag, “Dyonysus”, Gucci contrasted the subtle pink tones of the flamingo with bright green neon lights.


Hermès uses a flock of swallows taking flight to enhance the elegant subtly of their accessories.

/ From The Ground Up

With Christmas season just around the corner, the possibility of encountering huskies, penguins or even polar bears in store windows is now more certain. Nevertheless, terrestrial animals can be used year-round with playful takes on the animal kingdom including giant feisty formycins, mini heavy-footed herbivores and even long-necked ruminants. Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana have all employed earthbound animals to break new ground.

The luxury goods department store, Bergdorf Goodman creates a winter wonderland for its Christmas windows.

Louis Vuitton exploits a giraffe’s long neck as a display for accessories in an imaginative take on the animal’s famous trait.

/ Under The Sea

Underwater animals bring an essence of fantasy, colour and otherworldliness to store windows. The submarine world is a tried and true visual merchandising concept and can be implemented in a variety of ways to either highlight, hide or even harmonise alongside the displayed product. Creating these sea creatures from materials with unusual finishes, whether they be glossy, matte or textured, adds interest and intrigue to the display.

Hermès camouflages its accessories, in this case ties, in the tentacles of delicately coloured jellyfish.

Moncler and Luis Vuitton cleverly juxtapose marine animals with well-dressed mannequins to create a futuristic setting.