12/2/1987 – ‘Muppet Tiffany Windows open’

Retailers in New York are known to have some of the most elaborate holiday window displays in the country and the famous Fifth Avenue jeweler Tiffany’s is no exception. Jim had an apartment just a few blocks up the street and ordered his custom personal stationery from the store. It was an honor, in 1987, to be asked to create the holiday windows for the store’s 150th anniversary, and Jim and his art director Michael Frith were pleased to work with illustrious Tiffany window designer Gene Moore. A range of characters were included from Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and the Classic Muppets.

It was a happy season for Jim. As he told local news reporter Jill Rappaport, “Christmas is such a special time of the year. This area of the city is always so much fun at Christmas time. I just love it.” The Muppets had graced the Selfridges department store windows in London, and Jim appreciated the attention his characters received in such visible establishments. Tiffany’s “…is a very classy place for them to be,” he noted, “ and, of course, Tiffany’s is Piggy’s favorite place to be in the entire world. So she comes here to do a lot of window shopping.”

For the holiday season in 1992, the Muppets were back in the windows at Tiffany’s, recreating scenes from their new movie The Muppet Christmas Carol. The creative team, led by Michael Frith and Lyndon Mosse, chose elements from the film and captioned the window displays with pages from an imagined storybook. Once again, the Muppets were a hit; the windows were named by the Fifth Annual WHERE Magazine Achievement Awards as Outstanding Christmas Decorations of the 1992 season. As Merrie Davis, publisher of WHERE, recounted, “A woman passing by stopped to admire the windows. She told [us] how much joy and happiness Tiffany’s Muppet windows brought her and how they truly represented the warmth of the holiday season. We knew we had found our winner, for that is exactly what the award is all about.”

Invitation to the unveiling of the 1987 Christmas windows at Tiffany’s.

Michael Frith’s design for the Fraggle Rock window at Tiffany’s, 1987.

The Fraggle Rock window featuring Wembley at Tiffany’s, 1987.

Miss Piggy consulting with window designer Gene Moore at Tiffany’s, 1992.

Storybook page illustrated by Michael Frith from the Tiffany’s Christmas windows, 1992.

Read more from Jim Henson’s Red Book in Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal available from Chronicle Books.

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