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Advanced Visual Merchandising Portfolio

Lauren Harding

Contents Introduction


Store Interior




Similar Store Layouts


Ideas Map




The Role of a Visual Merchandiser


Store Atmosphere


Advertising, Promotion and Visual Merchandising


Diamonds Concept


Emerging Trends in Visual Merchandising




Visual Display Examples


Scent Marketing


Brand Identity


Proposed Window Display Ideas


Trend Forecasting


Display Development


Trend Research


Final Window Display


Chanel S/S '13 Collection




Existing Advertising




Analysis of Window Displays




Analysis of Competitive Window Displays


Window Display Ideas Map


Parisian Image Research


Colour Theory


Colour Palette


Parisian Interiors


Chanel Interior Research


Introduction In this portfolio I aim to critically examine fashion and lifestyle within the retail industry and look at the important role of the visual merchandiser. I will explore the brand identity and window displays of Chanel in order to develop my own concepts and themes to create a unique design for a Chanel window display whilst developing my own understanding of how to be an efective visual merchandiser at the same time. By focusing on how a visual merchandiser communicates the brand values in an innovative way to increase sales I will produce a successful window display.

I will concentrate on emerging fashion trends to make sure the window display is at maximum potential to attract the target audience along with research into existing window displays, advertising and the luxurious brand of Chanel. My fnal outcome will successfully suit the brand of Chanel and project their brand identity through extensive research and further understanding of the retail environment.


Chanel I have chosen the Parisian theme for a Chanel window display to symbolise the heritage of Chanel in homage to its legendary founder. Since 1912 when Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel opened her frst millinery shop in Paris, she has become one of the most premier and respected fashion designers in the industry. Replacing corsets for comfort; she liberated women with casual elegance through clothing, costume jewellery, textiles and perfume. By the 1920's she had expanded her millinery shop to a prestigious fashion house with the assistance of her two male suitors. Her short skirts, jersey textiles and masculine suits were a distinctive contrast to the popular fashions of previous decades. Chanel herself channelled the androgynous look for comfort. In 1922 she introduced the famous Chanel No. 5 scent, which is still one of the best selling perfumes ever produced to date. Chanel continued to introduced signature styles over the years including the 'Little Black Dress', the Chanel 2.55 bag, the cardigan, pea jacket and bell bottom pant suit. She was still working up until her death in 1971, when Karl Lagerfeld took over as chief designer in 1983 to continue Chanel's high fashion and haute couture creations.


Ideas Map

Androgynous 60's Inspired




The Queen

Union Jack

British Heritage



Spring Florals


Bunny Parisian




Easter Chocolate


Seaside Holiday Retro Ice creams

Clothing Couture

Beach Huts Sand Castles


Historical 3

The Role of a Visual Merchandiser The Role of a visual merchandiser is to create successful window and interior displays which in turn increase the retailer's sales.They are an efective promotional tool used in every retailer and are responsible for the appearance on the store. They work with the PR department to create brands strategies. Through visual persuasion customers are enticed into the store and encouraged to make a purchase. A successful visual merchandiser will format the design of the store to match the brand through the use of advertising, signage, displays, store atmosphere and window displays. To reinvent the Chanel brand into a classic yet stylish brand identity, New York architect Peter Marino was introduced to attract a younger audience by updating their interiors and displays. Current Chanel window displays maintain the Chanel brand values but project youth and creativity. These values are key to my proposed designs for a new window display. To further my understanding of the importance of a visual merchandiser, I spoke to Natalie O'Brien who works in the high street store, New Look in Jersey. Natalie works for the largest New Look in Jersey in the town of St.Helier, where her role is one of two visual merchandisers. Her main role is to increase sales by attracting as many customers as possible through creative and eye-catching displays, both in the store and in the windows. The displays must successfully encourage customers to spend money by relating to the young target audience. It must have a positive retail experience and persuade customers to return to the store in the future. Her store layouts create product awareness through clear and precise signage, and she ensures the lighting is not too harsh and bright. Her understanding of consumerism allows her to focus on the best way to attract more customers. Many of Natalie's window displays are themed as she explains how they are the most eye-catching for customers. After studying fashion at Southampton Solent University two years ago, she is very creative and hard working. By reading fashion magazines Vogue and Elle monthly to keep up to date with cultural trends to maintain a modern perspective on life. Natalie describes how team work is also an important part of her role as inspiration can often come from other people’s ideas and suggestions. Overall, Natalie thoroughly enjoys her job at New Look and looks forward to learning new skills as a visual merchandiser. 4

Advertising, Promotion and Visual Merchandising Visual merchandising can link to particular promotions and events to use advertising and promotions to attract a wider target audience and as a result, increase sales. Window displays may also be used to advertise seasonal sales or inform passers-by of other current promotions. For example a themed window display on Valentine's Day, Easter weekend, Christmas or a royal wedding can all attract more customers inside stores. By using a promotional theme, a window display is current and on trend with social culture and by linking a promotional event to the visual merchandising tools, the window display and store environment can reinforce the event and create a unique and enticing atmosphere. Customers want to experience a new way of shopping and enjoy promotional discounts, events and attractions which can all be created through visual displays.


The shopping experience is just as important as purchasing the products and a unique event that focuses on the target audience will encourage more people to stay and shop. Experimental design not only uses atmospherics to create a unique promotional, advertising event; today's consumers want more than a quick purchase, they want to be entertained. Hedonic shopping, including gratifcation, social and value shopping are all experiences the customer needs to receive in order for visual merchandising to successfully sell life-styles through the integration of these elements. The theme for the proposed Chanel window display and retail interior focuses on the 'Ladylike' fashion trend for 2013. The Spring/Summer trend will be themed around the seasons as well as connotations of being 'lady like'.


Emerging Trends in Visual Merchandising Visual merchandising today not only focuses on window displays, it looks at the entire store's visual appearance. It creates a distinct and consistent image to set retailers apart from their competition, be it high street or high end. It communicates the stores image in it's entirety and reinforces their advertising, promotions and brand identity. I encourages impulse buying to increase sales through hedonic shopping experiences. The role of the visual merchandiser is now a major factor in the success of a store as a result of retail developments. 'With consumers expecting and demanding more, retail environments have to work ever harder. The environments in which goods and services are sold, he explains, can have as much efect on the consumer as the quality of the goods themselves.' Jef Kindleysides Award-winning retail designer, 2006

In the fast paced economic climate of today, retailers are expected to think harder about their retail design to meet the needs of the consumer.

This Hermes window display shows just one of the emerging trends in visual merchandising for 2013. This display shows how a creative display that uses minimal props and tools can still be efective. The arts and crafts theme to this window display is eye-catching and unique.


This Harvey Nicholls window display uses colourful mannequins to promote their brand identity and try a unique way to attract customers. This display is from their Spring/Summer collection from 2012 so works well not only as a visual merchandising trend, but also a themed design.

This display designed by Russell Clower, shows the rise of displays as art forms. Although it can sometimes overpower the merchandise, this window has been successfully created through colour palette and use compositional use of levels. Some retailers are now collaborating with artists to create themed displays.

This display for Hugo Boss in 2012 shows how computerised technology and lighting can work together to create a powerful window display. The lighting here rotates on a fashing sequence to be eye-catching and new.


This sportswear store is using developments in technology to attract passers-by. The interactive screen allows customers to view the merchandise and promotions before they enter the store.

Another trend in visual merchandising uses the senses to attract customers. This display is for furnishings store La Vie en Rose and was there promotional Valentine's Day window display. It featured freshly cut fowers to be emotionally stimulating and entice people inside.

This window display showcases a clever use of mannequins in a modern way. Most mannequins show no movement and are in the upright position but this display shows creativity in a contemporary way.

All of these emerging trends in visual merchandising will be considered in the initial design ideas for the Chanel window display. The classic and timeless style of Chanel will be taken into consideration before using any trends that are too modern or inappropriate.


Visual Display Examples

Creating my own visual displays using accessories and fowers, demonstrates how to apply the basic skills of a visual merchandiser by adding colour, texture and lighting. The use of a black background in all of these images adds visual weight to the overall appearance. These three images show the most successful images from the entire contact sheet. The frst one uses levels and the use of platforms to create height in order to keep the viewers eye moving around the image. The use of coordinating colours also compliments the objects and prevents it looking cluttered and out of rhythm. The second image experimented with space by using a balanced composition and odd number of objects to be appealing on the eye. The third image visually persuades the viewer by using the rule: “less is more� and creates a focal point in the centre of the three main objects. It also creates a pyramid shape which adds depth, proportion and prevents the display looking fat.


Brand Identity I will discuss how Chanel reinforce their brand identity by exploring the design and display features of their stores. From Chanel to Clinique, every store has an individual brand identity to ensure their customers remember their signature style through the use of retail design, store layout, display design, visual merchandising, retail graphics, POS and signage. The brand identity of Chanel is a signature combination of haute couture and high fashion clothing, footwear and accessories for men and women. The luxury brand has been at the top of the fashion ladder since the 1920's and still maintains it's fashion status and prestigious clientele. With a celebrity packed front row at every catwalk event and collections of one of pieces, everything about the brand symbolises wealth and indulgent fashion where money is irrelevant to the quality and status you gain from the garments.


As you can see from these images depicting store interiors, their signature style has not changed dramatically. Brand identity is very important to the house of Chanel who pride themselves on their classic fashion and classic reputation. Both images show monochrome colour schemes, minimal wall fxtures, low lighting and a lot of mirroring. The overall retail design of Chanel not only signifes their brand ethics but also their target demographic, who have wealth and style. For Chanel, the retail environment is devoted to leisure and indulgence rather than pushing sales and a fast paced customer turn over. Unlike high street stores, a Chanel store is minimalistic with little merchandise on show with luxurious fxtures and furnishings to symbolise how important the retail experience is rather than quick sales and persuasive customer assistants.


These images show the 2009 Chanel boutique opening in Shanghai, designed by Peter Marino. Marino's description of Shanghai as the “Paris of the East� makes the sumptuous Peninsula Shanghai Hotel the perfect location for an elegant boutique like this one, inspired by the Parisian apartment of Coco Chanel. As you can see the design features a lot of gold, inspired by a gold frog Chanel owned and other regional design infuences such as birdcages. Marino wanted the store to embrace Shanghai's modernity and step away from historical infuences signifed in the clean black lines, white and gold colour scheme and grid like display design. The clothes are hung on wall displays and shelves and rarely feature on stand alone fxtures or mannequins to keep the room simple and neat. This 2010 Soho store was also designed by Peter Marino and captures the Chanel brand identity perfectly. It reinforces the classic style of Chanel through a monochrome colour scheme, mixture of modern and classical furnishings and low lighting. Everything about the design symbolises simplicity and style. Inspired by the Soho neighbourhood spirit, it also features an acrylic Chanel No. 5 bottle at over 10 feet high showing video art and catwalk images. The resemblance to a gallery strengthens the identity of beauty and iconic style. 12

This Chanel store on Robertson Boulevard, L.A, opened in 2008. The lighting is unique, similar to stage lighting, and compliments the black and white colour scheme. The environment portrays the minimalistic Chanel theme and classy brand identity.

This Printemps Christmas Display in Paris cleverly segregates the colour pink to give the window display a focal point and dramatic impact. The use of black and white instantly signifes the Chanel brand.

The interior design of this store has elements of Gabrielle Chanel's apartment, including tweed carpets made exclusively for the store and the hand painted wall panels. Again the store boasts black wall fxtures and grid panelling like all the Chanel stores. The seating area encourages customers to spend as much time as possible in the store.

This pop-up boutique in Cannes shows how important visual merchandising is to the brand. This may be a temporary store but everything is permanent and just as indulgently furnished as the permanent stores. With black featuring again the brand identity of Chanel is very prominent through colour and style. 13

Trend Forecasting By concentrating on emerging fashion trends for Spring/Summer 2013 I will achieve a better understanding of the current trends set to appear in the retail environment,which also need to be considered when designing a suitable and trend aware window display. The latest Spring/Summer trend for 2013 is the 'Ladylike' trend which focuses on big skirts, lace, forals and glamour. This trend suits the Chanel brand perfectly because of the prestigious catwalk collections that Chanel feature and their elegant brand identity. Every fashion trend follows a cycle, and every cycle has no specifc measurable time period. Some styles sustain for a long time, some die out almost instantly and some styles come back years later. Fashion changes with time and has always been evolving to ft the taste, lifestyle and demands of society.

The next few pages will show the research I have done to further explore the 'Ladylike' trend by including images from current fashion magazines and looking at the Spring/Summer 2013 catwalk shows and celebrity fashion. Using,, and I have decided on a fnal selection of clothes that suit the 'Ladylike' trend and will help me develop my design for a Chanel window display. The clothes featured in the fnal window display will of course be Chanel clothing which is why I included the section that specifcally focuses on their 2013 couture and ready-to-wear collections. This research will help me both explore an emerging fashion trend and help me further understand the role of a visual merchandiser and the stage they work through to result in a successful display in the end.


Magazine Research Current fashion magazines show how successful the 'Ladylike' trend for Spring/Summer 2013 will be. This image is a scanned copy of a fashion editorial shoot also featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine from May 2013. The shoot epitomises feminine fashion with pale pink colours, pastel accessories, delicate jewellery and elegant hair. The high collar and A-line skirt are all signature styles in the Ladylike trend. The intricate detail on the hem line is both feminine and elegant in a gold thread.

This image is a scanned copy of a Clarks advertisement featured in Cosmopolitan magazine from April 2013. This image shows how the Ladylike trend is adapted to feature shoes, clothes and accessories from Designers and High Street brands. This look is classic with a metallic twist. Even the hair and makeup support the Ladylike trend showing a vintage glamour look with beehive and black eye makeup.


This image is a scanned copy showing the cover page of a Glamour Magazine fashion editorial shoot called 'Suit Up'. Stereotypically masculine and boring, this shoot puts femininity back in to business wear with silk fabrics, polka dot prints, nipped in waists and mesh bows.

This image is a scanned copy of a celebrity interview and editorial shoot with upcoming music artist Rita Ora. Famous for her attitude and rebellious fashion, this shoot showcases her feminine side and beauty. In a Barbara Tfank dress, pink glittery nails and 60's inspired hair style Rita Ora screams glamour and sophistication. The of the shoulder style, silk fabric and butterfy detail are all perfect for the Ladylike trend.


High Street

Knee Length Hem

Pastel Shades




Katy Perry


Baroque Detail

Summer Style


Elie Saab




Bright Colours

Full Skirts

Simplistic Pastel Florals


Christopher Kane

Oscar De La Renta Oscar De La Renta Texture


Summer Prints



Retro Style

Leighton Meester

Taylor Swift


Chanel Spring/Summer 2013 Couture Collection These images show a selection of the current couture collection by Chanel. Between the couture and the ready-to-wear collections I will select the outfts that will appear in the fnal window display design. These images have been taken from


Chanel Spring/Summer 2013 Ready-To-Wear Collection I decided to include a selection of looks from both shows to see which would suit best in the fnal display. I am not planning to mix couture with RTW as the overall styles are quite diferent and I want the clothing and accessories to match perfectly with the design of the window.


Chanel Autumn/Winter 2013 Ready-To-Wear Collection I have included a selection of looks from the Fall show to get an insight in to what Chanel have planned for the next season and what an Autumn/Winter display could entail for them. I particularly like the candy foss coloured fur hats which are inspired by the iconic bob of Anna Wintour.


Existing Advertising

This example of promotional advertising by Chanel features model Heidi Mount for their Spring/Summer 2009 campaign. The photographs themselves were shot by designer Karl Lagerfeld in Vermont in a typical New England wooden house with a severe and clinical look that Lagerfeld described as “so Emily Dickinson�. I particularly liked this image for its clean and minimalistic look, which projects the identity of the Chanel brand as well. With little colour the image does not distract from the key object; the clothes, and the light shining through the window further highlights the importance of the clothes. The luxurious clothes ooze femininity and sophistication for which I aim the window display to project also. Lagerfeld's inspiration for the campaign came from the work of the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi, whose severe paintings of interiors with light fooding through sash windows symbolise the backdrop for feminine meditation.


Featured in this Chanel No5 perfume advert is the actress Nicole Kidman, which coincided with a short movie to promote the perfume directed by Baz Luhrmann, inspired by the phenomenal flm Moulin Rouge in which she also starred and Luhrmann directed. I chose to analyse this particular image because one of the key aspects emphasised is the diamond necklace Kidman wears with the 'No5' insignia on it, and I aim for diamonds to be a signifcant contributing factor in my fnal window display. As before, the image retains its monochrome style and simplistic composition for maximum impact. The use of celebrity endorsements attract a larger audience and highlights the high standards to which Chanel are famous for.


Chanel Window Display Research The next few pages will show my research and analysis in to existing Chanel window displays. This is important because it will further aid me to design my own display for Chanel and inspire new ideas. The images I am analysing have all come from the Google search engine excluding the ones on this page which I have taken myself in Milan. By analysing the images I will have a better understanding of the brand and the styles and themes they follow hen creating a window display.

These images show the current window displays for the Milan Chanel store. On a recent visit to Milan I took these photographs myself to show an International variety in my portfolio. The store only had two window bays but maintained the brand identity through the use of 'three', the monochrome colour palette and a minimalistic style. The windows were large and eye catching with natural light.


This is efective as a result of the grouping of mannequins and merchandise to create a focal point and dramatic impact.

This comical window display featured in the French department store Printemps in 2011. The use of levels attracts the audience and keeps the eye moving.

The exterior of this Chanel shop shows the signature colour of the brand; black. The use of black adds visual weight and keeps the style timeless and sophisticated.

The use of high and low levels in this window are eye catching and stop the combination of small objects looking cluttered. Again the signature colour black has been used. 25

This display abides by the efective 'rule of three' and 'less is more' rules, which are more appealing to the eye and prevent clutter.

The exterior successfully portrays the brand identity of Chanel through its clean lines, monochrome colour palette and heavily branded umbrellas.

This display portrays luxury with the gold iron fencing, Chanel insignia in the grass and the minimal window displays. The display itself is themed.

The 'rule of three' has been used again here, successfully attracting the audience's eye and creating depth with levels. The Chanel insignia remains central in the display. 26

Window Displays from Competitive Stores This Dior window is on display in Milan City. I have included it here because Dior and Chanel have a similar brand identity and target audience. The window is well themed with a minimalistic approach and a combination of clothing and accessories. I particularly like the use illustration in the background.

This Burberry window display in Milan city is a perfect example of levels and the efective use of media with accessories. Mannequins mixed with accessories can look over powering in a thin and tall window such as this one, which is why the use of media advertising works well. The window is themed and coherent with a unique colour palette and metallic theme. Featuring celebrities such as Taylor Swift is an eye catching tool that attracts more customers.


Tom Ford's clothing collections are relatively new compared to that of Chanel, but this window display suggests high fashion that has longevity and sophistication like Chanel. The muted colour palette works well with the metallic back drop and the lighting creates an efective atmosphere. The pastel colours stand out in front of the darker background to keep the clothes the focus of attention. The combination of clothing, footwear and accessories works well by keeping everything coordinated and minimalistic, keeping the window un-cluttered.

This Fendi display is also in Milan city. I have included this image here because I fnd the contrasting colours eye catching and unique. The window display as a whole is minimalistic but the large platforms and use of height work well to give the window display balance. By using only one mannequin the display symbolises wealth and sophistication through minimalism, similar to how Chanel merchandises their window displays. The position of the mannequin is diferent to the usual standing position which gives the display a uniqueness. 28

Window Display Ideas Map

Moulin Rouge

French Poodles

Monochrome Colour Scheme

Lace French Antique Furniture

Parisian Illustrations



French Fancies

French Boudoir

Chandeliers Chanel Symbols

Pastel Shades

Curtain Backdrops

White Mannequins Flowers

Spotlights Wallpaper Backdrops 29

Parisian Image Research

Eifel Tower



Chic Parisian Ballet Macaroons




Colour Theory The principles of colour are:

Hue: colour name Value: lightness or darkness Chroma: intensity of colour

All brands must understand the physiological and psychological infuences of colour to create a harmonious shopping environment. Existing Chanel stores successfully use colour to create a calm and welcoming environment that their customers want to spend time in through the use of whites, creams, pale and neutral colours. There are fve colour families used by retailers; red, yellow, blue, green and neutral but to reinforce Chanel's brand identity the display will maintain the signature colours of Chanel. The retail environment must suit the target audience, encourage them to make a purchase and return to the store in the future. A brand like Chanel wants to create loyal customer in the current retail and economic climate. The physical characteristics must be in keeping with their existing style but also encourage new customers inside. The psychological of colour for this display will ft with the Chanel theme of a monochrome, light and calming palette, because it is important to understand that diferent responses to diferent colour palettes can be crucial to persuade customers inside.


Colour Palette The chosen colour palette for the window display will both reinforce the brand identity of Chanel and suit the Spring/ Summer theme. The colours used will be shades of white, ivory, cream, beige, pastel pinks and violets with black detailing. This colour palette will work well with the Spring/Summer Chanel collections whilst remaining current and stylish. The inspiration for the colour scheme derives from Parisian pearls, grosgrain ribbon, macaroons, roses, confectionary and silk ballet shoes. It will be sophisticate and elegantly Parisian. 'Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance' Coco Chanel


Parisian Interiors These images show my research into existing Parisian style dĂŠcor which will help me with my initial design ideas for the interior of the Chanel store which is inspired by Parisian elegance.

White Art




Flowers Chaise Longue 33

Chanel Interior Research

Designed by architect Peter Marino, this store is extravagantly luxurious. The use of black and pale pinks is similar to the colour palette chosen for the fnal window display.

The use of separate rooms to display merchandise is a clever use of space. The room is bright and arranged for relaxing with seating areas in all rooms.

This store has been cleverly designed with a prominent entrance that entices customers inside. The monochrome, minimal approach will infuence my designs.

The textured carpets work well with the colour palette of the room. The large windows ofer a lot of natural light and the white ceilings in all the stores will follow through to my design.


Store Interior Store interiors must give the overall store impact and attract customers who are both loyal and new to the brand. The signature style must be portrayed the same way the colour palette, lighting and signage will. ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

The use of large scale graphics such as the Chanel insignia will be clear and minimal The layout will conform to what appeals to the consumer and the target audience It will create a welcoming buying environment It will be calming and peaceful It will endeavour to maintain the Chanel brand identity The high fashion brand will have minimal stock on the shop foor There will be minimal furnishings but plenty of seating areas Use of white space will help the customers focus on the merchandise It will reinforce the quality of the merchandise Merchandise fxtures Tall mirrors Floor to ceiling windows - Accessories

Floor Plan

Changing rooms

Changing rooms Rug




Stand alone lighting

Window displays


Further rooms Carpeting everywhere Tiles with insignia

Double door entrance


Similar Store Layouts

The popular afordable brand Zara, is the high street equivalent of high fashion brand, Chanel. They share similar brand values, colour palettes and store designs with a simplistic theme. The images below show the store environment of their Southampton store in West Quay Shopping Centre. These images will be used for inspiration for my Chanel store interior.


Mannequins Mannequins are the most popular tools used in fashion retail by visual merchandisers. Once a basic design, there are now many diferent shapes, forms and colours available to showcase clothing and accessories. They are the most efective way to present the latest fashion trends and can become inspirational to many customers; giving them an idea of how to style outfts, wear the items and interpret a real torso. This may persuade customers to try the outfts on and as a result can successfully increase sales. There are several types of mannequins that can be produced from materials including wax, wood, fbreglass and plastic. There are male and female forms and also children's mannequins which are all either in a set pose or have adjustable arms and legs.

The most common form used is the life-size mannequin as it displays clothing to its potential through realistic body parts and facial features. These are often displayed with wigs to create an even more life-like characterization. They can also be adjusted into other positions to give a life-like impression and create efective levels.

Another style is the torso only mannequin which is often displayed on a stand or platform. This mannequin is easy to maintains and takes up less space that a full sized one. This also comes in a child size form. Mannequins in children's sizes are particularly useful for children's wear stores and can come in sizes ranging from a baby to a toddler.


Another style of mannequin is the head only style, commonly used to display wigs, millinery or makeup. It is far more efcient for a store to use a head only mannequin rather than a full sized one because it creates more space for more merchandise to be displayed and they are easier to style. They are also used in colleges and universities as a learning tool because the life like features and inclusion of hair is very useful for teaching purposes. These are usually made from foam, plastic or vinyl.

Lastly, the abstract mannequin is a modern mannequin that is similar to the life-size realistic one but with no facial features and only represents a vague likeness to the human body. These are often used in stores to create a high fashion appearance and encourage customers to focus on the merchandise because of their simple design. Their abstract style is a more creative tool when creating a successful window display.


Existing Mannequins The next few pages will look at existing styles of mannequins and analyse how successful they are in the retail fashion environment.

This is the current window display for H&M in the West Quay shopping of Southampton. It shows how successfully organising mannequins and choosing shapes and styles to stand out and compliment the clothing and accessories can produce an eyecatching window display. The combination of black faceless mannequins and bright blonde wigs creates contrast and attracts customers. By adorning the mannequins in bright patterned clothing they become the focal point of the window display.

This collection of mannequins are featured in the Allsaints store, also situated in the Southampton West Quay Shopping centre. These mannequins have been uniquely hung in a way to catch the attention of passers by. The black headless style adds visual weight to the display and by hanging the mannequins they are on eye level for customers to admire. They have been grouped with male attire on the right and female on the left keeping the display ordered and coordinated. This display cleverly lets the customer look in to the store, persuasively inviting customers inside to browse.


Chanel Mannequins This page shows the research into styles of mannequins for the Chanel window display. Commonly, the mannequins are plastic but this vintage style suits the Parisian theme. The style on the left have been used to display existing Chanel accessories which supports the use of them in a new Chanel store. The style on the right may be too vintage and antique for the stylishly classic identity of Chanel.

Although the majority of Chanel mannequins displaying clothing and accessories are the life-size mannequins with full facial features and artifcial hair, the use of the vintage style mannequins will ofer diversity without being too diferent to their original mannequins. 40

Store Atmosphere Music Lighting

Theme Store


Scent and Smells

Colour Staf

The orientation of a successful store should have paths to navigate the store, nodes (where people congregate), districts, edges and a landmark for a focal point. Chanel uses all of these except districts because the use of sign posts and signage would look cluttered and deter from the classical theme of Chanel. The landmark in the store will be the seating area and display table situated directly opposite the entrance. The store will also be on one level, ideally with staf rooms and storage rooms located upstairs so customers don't have to walk to other foors. As most customers want to turn anti-clockwise after entering a store, the layout for the proposed store allows customers to circulate the room how they wish as a result of the 'free-form' layout that the store adopts. It encourages browsing, enhances the atmosphere and allows customers to congregate near the merchandise.


Diamonds As part of the Parisian theme I am looking at the concept of diamonds and will incorporate them into the design for the window display. As stated on the Chanel website, who specialise in fne jewellery, “The purity, rarity and exceptional brilliance of diamonds have made them the most precious stones in the world and the absolute symbol of eternal love. Their name comes from the Greek "adamas", meaning invincible, in reference to their extreme hardness.� The diamond was Mademoiselle Chanel's favourite stone and in 1932 she dedicated her frst collection of fne jewellery, 'Bijoux de Diamants' to them. The brand Chanel is prestigious and glamorous and diamonds represent the highest value in the jewellery industry thus making them perfect symbolisations of the status of Chanel.

Gabrielle Chanel's Parisian heritage makes my theme the perfect homage to her amazing style and fashion creations, whilst using appropriate themes and design infuences to create a window display true to the Chanel brand. After all 'diamonds are a girl's best friend'.


These images are from the 'Inside Chanel' video; 'Chanel and the Diamond'. I think the inclusion of Diamonds in the display is both trend aware and symbolises their status and their glamorous brand identity. It will also compliment the Parisian theme by adding sparkle and light to the display in a classic and elegant way.


Lighting The brand identity of the retail store design is created through the layout, window display, colour palette, signage, theme, interior design and the lighting. The lighting can create a peaceful atmosphere where customers can relax and take their time to view and try the merchandise. Many stores make the mistake of using harsh lighting that only accentuates the customer's faws and can be hot to stand under. The buying environment must entice all of the senses and persuade customers to stay. The lighting for the Chanel store is the customers frst visual impression and is very important. It will be low, subtle and mostly natural from the large windows. Natural light is very fattering and saves on cost; it will give the environment a bright space in which to be comfortable. It will stay compatible and coherent with the brand image and will focus on the merchandise to promote it. It will be balanced with the overall store layout to create a relaxing ambience. The lighting for the window displays will be minimal and linked with the diamonds concept. I have created the image below to represent how the lighting will appear. Diamond style spotlights

Original Chanel insignia 44

Scent Marketing Famous Hollywood actor, Brad Pitt, was unveiled last year as the frst male spokesman for the signature Chanel No.5 perfume. He is the frst male to front the campaign which has previously been endorsed by celebrities including Nicole Kidman, Vanessa Paradis and Marilyn Monroe. ”Chanel N°5 has always been the most iconic women’s fragrance. The beauty of its success for all these years is both elegantly simple and complex at the same time. It goes beyond the abstract of emotion or beauty to evoke what is timeless, a woman’s spirit.” Pitt, 2012

Scent marketing is a powerful tool used by visual merchandisers to increase consumer attention, inspire awareness and stimulate purchase activity. It also encourages customers to linger and relax by improving the mood of customers. From the fve sense, scent has the strongest emotional efect on consumers because it has the most direct pathway to the sensory gland of the brain. Giving it the power to create immediate reaction, stimulate emotion, attract customers and reinforce brand identity. It is suggested that customers remember 35% of what they smell, compared to just 5% of what they see, thus making scent marketing a vital part of a stores atmospherics. The scene that will be used in the Chanel store will be the signature Chanel No.5 perfume in a subtle and relaxing ambience.


Proposed Window Display – Initial Sketches 1




These designs incorporate the diamonds concept as lighting for all the window displays. They also show minimal merchandise on display which is coherent to the Chanel brand. I have experimented wit h various styles that use a foral print as a backdrop to compliment the Spring/Summer seasons and the 'Ladylike' theme. By experimenting with diferent compositions and colour variations I can see which styles work the best and use these as inspiration for my fnal window displays. I particularly like the fourth design for its use of white space, composition and levels.


Development This page shows screenshots of my design development and how I experimented with diferent styles to get the best outcome. The brand identity of Chanel and their signature style were considered throughout the designs.


Final Window Display Window display left:

Floral detail for the Spring/Summer season

Ready-to-wear collection

Diamond lighting

Black detailing will match the in-store interior

This is the fnal visual plan for a Chanel window display, which would be situated in the left window bay of my proposed store layout. I have incorporated the signature Chanel style with the Parisian theme; keeping it minimalistic and using the Chanel insignia. I have included black detailing in the design to compliment the Chanel house colours. If it were to be produced, the diamonds would have spotlights behind them and light the window. I have included two Chanel ready-to-wear items to symbolise how the merchandise would be displayed. Although the window looks bare it suits the Chanel style and would stand out to passers-by. The foral print is in fact a Laura Ashley wallpaper, but any vintage style print would work well. The black mannequins work well with the black trimmings and ceiling colour but if the ceiling over shadowed the window bay a white or pale pink would work just as well. 48

Final Window Display Window display right: Elegant Signature black colour


Floral theme

Eifel Tower design


Use of white space to declutter the window bay

This is the fnal visual plan for the left window bay of the Chanel store. Again, I have combined the signature Chanel style with a Parisian twist and a pop of colour with black trimmings and details. The diamond here would also be a light with the possibility for more incorporated in the foral design if needed. The merchandise in this window displays a selection from the couture collection and the white theme compliments the minimal look of the window. The wallpaper could be applied to walls inside the store to complete the theme, as well as the pastel shades of paint. I would also incorporate the diamond concept into the lighting of the Chanel interior with spotlights and chandeliers. 49

Evaluation On refection, this portfolio has helped me develop my understanding of what makes an efective visual merchandiser and how their roles is vital to create a successful retail environment. Through visual communication they can create a buying environment and a retail experience that sells life-styles to prospective customers and gains their loyalty. The key to a successful retailer is to keep the customers returning and this is achieved through the eforts of the visual merchandising team; PR, marketing and advertising roles. I feel my own creative skills have improved greatly and that this portfolio demonstrates my creative infuence and design skills. Overall, I think my fnal design works well as a Chanel window display because it is recognisable as the brand and upholds their brand values. My extensive research in to the feld of visual merchandising shows how they successfully visually persuade customers in order to increase sales. I think my fnal design would work well in an International store and efectively attract Chanel customers their already existing themes, heritage, and signature style. I also researched existing window displays to visually develop my ideas and understanding of large displays that use props, colour, lighting and other current trends in visual merchandising professionally. Step by step, my knowledge has increased and I now fully understand every aspect of visual merchandising. By completing extra research into the components of creating a retail environment and visual display I found myself learning more than I had predicted and feel as though I have gained an even better understanding of visual displays.



Bibliography ‘Visual Merchandising: window and in-store displays for retail’ by Tony Morgan, Lawrence King, 2011


Appendices Interview (Conducted via Facebook) Q. Which store do you work for and where? A. New Look, Jersey Q. What is your main role as a visual merchandiser? A. My job is to make the displays as appealing as possible to increase the sales of New Look. I have to be creative as possible as it is a competitive industry where high street stores have to be just as creative as high fashion stores Q. What else does your role entail? A. Store layouts are very important as New Look is such a big store, they create product awareness through clear and precise signage, and I have to ensure that the lighting is not too harsh or bright for the customers. My understanding of consumerism helps me greatly with my job Q. How long have you worked there? A. Two years, I started after I fnished my degree at Southampton Solent University Q. What do you do to keep up to date with current events and cultural trends? A. I make sure I read as many fashion magazines as possible to keep up with the changing trends and newspapers to keep up with culture across the world Q. Do you work as a team or individually? A. I work with one other woman as the team of visual merchandisers for my store. I prefer it as we help each other with suggestions and inspiration


Visual Merchandising Portfolio  
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