Anthropologie’s Regent Street store is ready to have a make-over. Known for their appreciation of good design, the American lifestyle brand has built an equally sound reputation for merchandising – and now this philosophy of connecting with their customers on a visual level has extended to London College of Fashion.
On June 8th two FdA Fashion Retail Branding and Visual Merchandising students were selected to design and create a display installation for the flagship store’s mezzanine area. Ever since, Sacha Molyneux and Qian Koh have been working alongside Anthropologie’s innovative merchandising team to develop their winning ideas.
Working on such a grand scale hasn’t gone to the students’ heads however. “To clinch it was definitely a pleasant surprise,” Qian noted, with Sacha agreeing that it is “very exciting” to work with such a unique brand.
As students looking to be successful in such a competitive industry, both recognise the need to be hard working, conscientious and constantly developing – skills which seem to have only been further highlighted by collaborating with the Anthropologie team.
“They [the Anthropologie team] are constantly developing their ideas,” Sacha explained, with “ideas bouncing off each other in the studio.”
For Qian, this process of progression and development is an important step when designing and creating an installation. When asked about her inspirations, and how these might be incorporated into her design for Anthropologie, Qian reflected upon her own personal journey, from life back in Singapore to that of being in London. “Life itself [inspires me]. Immersing myself in different environments indirectly and unknowingly influences my design process; I can see the progression of my work.”
The work currently in question will be unveiled to London’s design-conscious shoppers from June 29th, however Snapshot has managed to coax a sneaky insight into the ideas and thought processes behind the mezzanine area’s newest installation.
A key part of Anthropologie’s visual identity is the ability to reinvent everyday objects (who can forget the use of the humble cork to publicise Earth Day throughout April of last year?) and this has played a great influence in the work of not only the folks over at Anthropologie, but also LCF’s students.
“Recycled installation art and unusual, quirky architecture” have both featured heavily on Sacha Molyneux’s hit list – an interest that has perpetuated the creative process behind the Anthropologie installation. Although reluctant to reveal any of the finer details of the final product, Sacha and Qian have hinted at ideas of natural geology and, according to Qian, the use of “different textures” to create an “interesting aesthetic.”
At London College of Fashion students are often taught to think outside of the box. For Sacha, studying Fashion Retail Branding and Visual Merchandising at LCF has encouraged her “to think less literally,” something that has been particularly helpful for the Anthropologie collaboration. (There were hushed mentions of unusual mediums, such as skewers, in the final installation).
When asked whether she had any advice for prospective students wanting to step into her shoes, Qian did London College of Fashion proud. “Have fun and be free,” she said. “Go all out! You only live once.”
- Words by Nicole Mullen, BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism
- FdA Fashion Retail Branding and Visual Merchandising