The Collection of Clothing & Its Visual Merchandising.

Galun Dmitry

Visual merchandising exists only when there is a product that should sold. How can the cause-effect relationship between the collection and its visual presentation line up? There are two scenarios in practice. The idea of ​​the collection prevails in the first one. The task of visual merchandising is to convey this one to the ultimate consumer and reveal it in his eyes completely. Primarily, this approach to the visual presentation is applicable for "premium" and "luxury" range clothing and footwear. Here, the process of consumption is associated with the motives of prestige and status at the most, when the designer name is widely known and the purchaser joins to a range of clients and celebrity circle while buying his authorship clothes or shoes. In such a way, the main source of information and instruction to act is the collection show (catwalk) to which the sets (looks) are arranged by stylists with the participation and coordination of the designer. These looks reflect its essence most clearly and can be considered the most commercial for selling to wholesale buyers and private clients. Merchandisers also use the image of advertising campaign, in which the most recognizable collection articles or MPI category goods directed into production in large numbers at a price weighted, i.e. the products of strategic importance in the sales are featured. Deviations from these looks are possible only in an emergency, related to the lack of assortment or size at the presentation of the goods inside the trading hall and the windows of the store. To avoid such a situation, manufacturers supply often products to retail network, or oblige the buyers to place a product order for the windows. In that case the window is regarded as an advertising space and an integral part of the campaign. Window products are not sold during the whole period of its existence in this situation.

Another reason for the limited possibilities of visual merchandising methods of premium" and "luxury" class clothing and footwear is the intervention of the chief designer and creative director in the process, as they are responsible for the control of almost all phases of product life cycle (Fig. 1).

There are some reasons why strategic and active visual merchandising is usually out of strict branding bounds for visual presentation of mass consumption items. The first reason is the inability to limit the visual merchandising by advertising campaign image through a far large number of models in a season collection. The second reason lies in the mixing of products with different delivery terms. This complicates to produce the set in retail conditions. The third reason is in the removal or transformation of the models on the results of the order or production, thus linking to them during the presentation is pointless. As for active merchandising, color and style solutions can be used more commercial than those that are offered at catwalks and advertising shooting. Various volumes of delivery and store areas should also be considered, when planning operational activities for visual presentation. In accordance to supply volume visual presentation can be completely changed both within the color theme, and by mixing articles from themes offered by design center as different. Thus, there is a second scenario, when the visual merchandising presentation is aimed at providing the maximum commercial success of the collection.

Figure 1. Directory visual merchandising made under the guidance of creative director of Celine, Fibio Philo

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About the author
Last name, first name in full. Galun Dmitry
Degree (if any). Ph.D.
Name of educational institution. Moscow State University for Design and Technology
E-mail address. galund@mail.ru
Mailing address (be sure to index).
107 113, Moscow, Russia, 3d Rybinskaya 1/40-41