Dear readers, below is a question sent to me from a fellow visual merchandiser, with a tricky situation. I decided to post it here while I ponder my own response. Please post your comments or advice on how a fellow reader can solve her dilemma. Thanks!
I have recently moved to the southern hemisphere AND very recently landed my first VM role having previously been a buyer for a department store chain in London. I have been reading your blog for the last few weeks and have found it really useful in helping to prepare me for my new role.
One thing that’s been on my mind since starting my new career (and new life) in New Zealand is Christmas! It’s in the middle of Summer here and I just can’t think how to portray strong Christmas windows and in store display when everything that I would normally connect with Christmas (snow flakes and icicles, cosying up by roaring log fires, wrapping up warm in coats and gloves and scarves) won’t be relevant here. Do you have any tips or suggestions on pulling together strong themes and display for Christmas in a hot climate?
I will say - the first thing that comes to mind is does it have to be a “wintry” Christmas? Why not do “fun in the sun” as a Christmas theme. I know many folks who travel to the islands, mainly Hawaii during Christmas, trying to escape the cold. I need to think about this some more, but I and Emily would love to hear your suggestions.
As I was speaking to some students regarding the upcoming holiday season and how plans should already be made regarding Christmas windows, I just remembered that Lady Gaga and team will create Gaga’s Workshop on the fifth floor of Barneys and its windows. This will be really interesting! I’m trying to keep an open mind but I already have some preconceived ideas of what her holiday windows will look like….and it ain’t pretty!
Here are the photos I meant to post last week on the in-class group projects. Considering what limited resources we have to work with, I’m very impressed with what my students come up with every week. The theme for this week was “holiday”. Students were allowed to choose any holiday they wish and interpret it into a display.
The only rules are:
- I must be able to identify the theme immediately from looking at the display
- I must be able to identify what product/merchandise they are promoting
So how do you think they did?
They are displaying books in a children’s store.
Two future visual merchandisers, very happy with their work!
Last week we weren’t able to see anything from group 2 as the cubes were temporarily M.I.A., so this is their first showing. Obviously they chose Easter too, and they are displaying towels. The bunny artwork is adorable! I would have like to see more towels displayed on the table.
Group 3 - This group had the clever idea of doing a story line for Valentine’s Day. I will admit when I first saw it, I thought their theme was weddings.
The Courtship – There are transparencies in each cube with a love poem on it that pertains to the occasion.
Happily Ever After!
This group choose Christmas in April!
This group’s holiday is 4th of July and cute H&M sandals.
I love how they displayed the shoes and made all their risers in class!
Good job group 5!
So how do you think they did?
[Editor's Note: I'll be gone for two days at a work conference, so posting will be light this week. I am excited to get up the next set of group project photos once I return. In the meantime I ask you what is good display? The Godfather of display Martin M. Pegler answers this in one of his MANY books:]
“A good display is the result of Planning, Coordination, & Co-operation!
A display person must know, in advance, when a particular display will be installed, where it will be installed, and what will be shown and promoted. He or she needs some sort of a schedule (which can be altered if need be) or, at least, a master plan.
The execution of a good display comes from knowing in advance what trends, what colors, and what type of merchandise are scheduled for future display so that some though and preparation can be made for the eventual visual presentation of that new merchandise. It also requires a close working relationship with the retailer, buyer or merchandiser, marketing people, and display manufactures and vendors.
Good displays come from the display persons knowledge of what is available and where, what is in stock or in the warehouse, and what can be borrowed or “begged” from neighbors or institutions in the community. It requires an awareness of what is going on in the community, in the city, in the country, and in the world, and then being able to draw on that awareness to create attention-getting image-building, and merchandise-selling displays.
The display calendar is a well-thought-out schedule that keeps displays and merchandise moving freely in and out of windows and on and off ledges. A change of windows can be set for every 10 days to 2 weeks, but should never be longer than one month.”
Christmas at Chanel, 2010 – image via Moodboard