Searching for the perfect concept

In year two of Fashion and Branding, branding students are introduced to the challenge of combining previous assignments and create the perfect retail-environment.

Interview by Jelske Driessen 2nd year International Fashion & Branding.

On the day just before the Christmas break I spoke to two students who worked together for the past six weeks on a project called ‘Fashion Retail Environment’. This project is a combination of knowledge from two previous projects ‘Living Room Viewing Box’ and ‘Jeans Brand Data Base’– the first researching & visualizing target groups, the second providing an overview of the jeans market.  Students are asked to link the brand and a consumer group that is not yet targeted, and create a retail environment in which brand and consumer meet. I interviewed Lea Ermuth and Celia Freiling from International Fashion & Branding and asked them about their experiences.

The weeks of hard work are finally translated in a 3D presentation .

The weeks of hard work are finally translated in a 3D presentation .

Can you tell me a little bit about your concept?

“We brought together the jeans brand Edwin and a consumer tribe labeled ‘Selective Academics’, 40 plus wealthy men and women, focused on mothers. We wanted to include the Japanese heritage of the brand in the shop, but not in an obvious way. We took the floor culture of Japan (think about sitting and sleeping on the floor) and use it to give unusual retail experience. The center and the clothing display are on the same level as the ground. Our store is also completely transformable, so in no time you can remove the clothing and close the space, and you’ll get a seamless no nail open space that can be used for events and to built a community.”



A closer look at the Fashion environment designed by Lea and Celia.

What retail environments inspired you and would you recommend to us?

“No actual existing retail environment inspired us, but mostly exhibitions. The Jean Tinguely exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum was an amazing example for bringing experience to an art exhibition. Alexander Girard who is currently exhibited at the Vitra Design Museum also inspired us. We did not believe in looking at existing retail environments to come up with a new concept. It has all already been done. We believe in the interaction of design, art, fashion and architecture to create something exciting and alluring.”


What is the best about working in pairs?

“It was very nice having two people completely into one project, so you always have someone to talk to and make decisions together, which makes it a lot easier. And of course you can also motivate each other.”


What did you like most about the project?

“Working in pairs! But of course also the final execution. You’ve put so much work into it as there are so many parts to this project and on the last couple of days you really see everything come together and you see it all on one board. It is a great feeling when it then turns out to be a strong whole.”


How is this project different from previous projects at AMFI?

“First of all the group work, and due to the group work the scale of the project is so much bigger. This project was a combination of fashion, design, graphic design and architecture. Therefore we also needed to learn new design programs, like Vectorworks in which you can design 3-d.”


How is this project important for a brander?

“It introduces you with the retail aspect of Branding. For a brander who sees a future in retail environments or working for a brand this project is very accurate and revealing. And even if you do not end up working in retail environments, you do know what it is all about.”


What tip can you give a future AMFI student that will do this project?

“Start early. Also very important is to divide your work carefully from the beginning, and recognize each other’s skills. Another important aspect is to always reflect on your decisions and if it fits to your concept.”


How do you see the future of retail and the fashion environment?

“What was very clear to us was that it is all about the experience. You have to give customers a reason why they should go to a physical space instead of shopping online. It was clear that this was a trend in retail and thus a way to survive in the future. Shops are not only shops and the experience becomes more important than selling products.”

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