Simon Doonan Plays Window Dresser for Small Business Saturday

In honor of American Express' latest small business initiative on Nov. 30, the Barneys creative ambassador made a whimsical window for L.A.'s Surfing Cowboys shop.

There’s a new pair of eyes casting a watchful gaze on Mar Vista’s Venice Boulevard from the windows of Surfing Cowboys, the SoCal-infused home and accessories store that was one of three boutiques chosen to receive a window makeover by Simon Doonan as part of American Express’ Small Business campaign.

In anticipation of the financial company’s Small Business Saturday event on Nov. 30 -- which encourages shoppers to support local entrepreneurs -- Doonan added his signature whimsical style to the windows of the shop, which relocated to L.A.’s Mar Vista neighborhood in March after 17 years on Abbot Kinney in Venice. 

“I am so lucky to have worked at Barneys for so many years,” explained Doonan, the luxury department store's longtime creative director who now serves as its creative ambassador. In 1986, he got his start with the company as a window dresser. “Early in my career, I often designed windows for small businesses and have always been sympathetic to their challenges. Back in 1923, Barneys was one owner-operated small store in lower Manhattan. We all have to start somewhere.”

ON WATCH: Doonan's colorful Surfing Cowboys display, at night. 

The display, which will be up through the holidays, features vintage surfboards in the shape of a face, which peeks out between pieces of mid-century furniture and a vintage Vespa in the windows of the shop — and is part of a filmed segment airing on NBC Universal’s LXtv.

“We noticed an increase in the number of first time-visitors who came into the shop because they 'noticed' us instantly,” said Surfing Cowboys co-founder Donna Gunther. “The window decoration is welcoming. It lets them know that while we are a design shop and feature rare collectible items, we don't take ourselves too seriously.”

12553 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles. (310) 915-6611.

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