Visual Merchandising Students get Retail Window Design Opportunity

22nd June 2013

Here’s another example of an established name in retail offering a showcase to young designers (see previous post on Jaeger Boutique Gallery).

This time we’re looking at the USA where department store Saks Fifth Avenue, along with DDI Magazine, offers the opportunity to visual merchandising students to show off their designs for shop windows. Saks Fifth Avenue prime location stores in New York and Los Angeles turn their windows over to students in June (New York) and July (Los Angeles) to be judged by retail design industry experts.

The design competition is for visual merchandising students from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), LIM College and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM). The students work in teams of two and have only one day to create a visually appealing show-stopping window display in response to a specific theme, using merchandise and materials provided by Saks. Not only is the theme a surprise, but the materials they use to created their retail display are as well! Saks visual directors stay on hand to support the students as well as being part of the judging panels alongside editors from DDI magazine. Each competition’s post-judging parties gives the students an opportunity to meet and mingle with industry designers and retailers.

And the prizes?

Saks Fifth Avenue gift cards, of course, but  the top teams are also offered a day of working with the Saks window team, to gain first-hand experience of how to professionally implement and break down store windows. A selection of the designs will also appear in print and online in DDI Magazine. It’s a great idea.


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