STUDENTS OF FASHION COMMUNICATION ON A VISUAL MERCHANDISING FIELD STUDY
JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore organized a store visit for the students of Post Graduate Diploma in Fashion Communication 2019 batch to understand the various aspects of effective visual merchandising. The students visited three different stores at Cunningham Road, namely – The Coveted, Caravan and Hybiscus.
The idea of Visual Merchandising is to create an appealing layout of the merchandise alongwith key elements like colour, landscape, texture and décor to create a compelling visual engagement and to build a sense of curiosity among shoppers. Inorder to gain a first-hand insight about the identity of the brand and the story behind brands, a field trip was organized to three distinctly diverse stores – a boutique, a store cum café and a nursery. The purpose of the visit was to observe and take points about the display techniques, lighting, smell, ambience and atmosphere, layout, types of merchandise and their price points etc.
The Coveted is a brand that stocks up chic international designs which resonate with customers with a global taste. It shares space with La’Kiru, an Indian Festive wear brand. The Indo-Western association against a vintage décor of the store adds to the charm of the merchandise on display that celebrates the elegance of the garments. The red, yellow and off white interior walls of the store with Indian motifs on them provided a perfect backdrop for the merchandise. Lotus was a prominent feature used on various merchandise display racks and on arched doorways. The vintage look of the store was enhanced by gold lighting with wooden flooring and ceiling alongwith spot lights that provided a dramatic effect on the clothes. Apart from the electric lights the interior also included skylight to provide passage for natural light. There were comfortable seating arrangements to provide comfort to shoppers to sit at leisure and browse clothes. A bright green panel glazed door room divider made the rooms look larger and gave it a different dimension. Intricate and statement chandeliers added to the charm of the rooms.
Caravan, a store cum café houses an assortment of traditional Indic products sourced from different parts of India and in doing so provides sustainable livelihoods to artisans. Bright yellow walls with cream coloured flooring made the space look big and warm. A point of conversation was a displayed handloom machine which is also used to create templates. The simplicity of the store laid emphasis to the products on display with straight lines and a minimalist approach to design. The merchandise was an assortment of handcrafted jewellery; simple and professional apparel with subtle colours; décor; gifts; toys and crafts. The coffee aroma from the in-house café wafted through the store providing a sense of refreshment to the shoppers.
To show the students the diversity of visual merchandising and give them a glimpse of non-apparel stores, they were taken to a nursery called Hybiscus that featured garden figurines to planters, succulents, vertical plants to huge potted plants, garden swings etc. Apart from providing garden products they also offer gardening and landscaping consultations. The arrangements integrated for the products were line hanging, stacking and dumping, line display, open space display, island display and open space display.
The three different store concepts helped the students gain a wider perspective which was not restricted to just fashion apparel. The students developed a broad sense of understanding on how visual merchandising works for different types of merchandise to help define a brand identity. It also helped them to take notes and ask queries to the store representatives which further helped them in understanding the subject matter better.
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