Maria Paraskevopoulou, freelance fashion and lifestyle photographer, and LCF Postgraduate Certificate Fashion: Fashion Visual Merchandising graduate talks to LCF News about why she studied the 15 week course, the importance of visual merchandise, and how the course has helped shaped her professional practice.

 

Maria Paraskevopoulou from PG Cert Visual Merchandising

What got you interested in visual merchandising?

As a person who has always been interested in fashion, my interest in visual merchandising grew, when I started reading more about how new methods of technology would emerge to help stores attract more customers. We live in an era where everything changes by the minute, especially the fashion industry. To think that we can have everything on our doorstep with a simple click from our computers is exciting but scary at the same time as we become busier and therefore potentially more anti-social.

Visual Merchandising for me is a lot like photography. You create an environment to sell. It is a wonderful and creative world to dive into. It is an environment created by experts to play with the psychology of the customers in order to entice them in and offer them a journey throughout the store. What’s not to love about it?

Why did you decide to study at LCF?

At the time I was becoming fascinated by visual merchandising, I came across to the course at LCF. PGCE Fashion Visual Merchandising was perfect for me. It is an intense course of 15 weeks with 3 projects to be done in the process. The course offers the knowledge for someone to learn the basics of visual merchandising, both academic and practical. It does not matter what your background is; the beauty of it is that you have the chance to use your skills and ability in any way possible.

What have you learnt on the course?

I have learnt ways to think more commercially when it comes to designing a store. I have learnt how to use different methods to measure spaces, and transform them into a specific concept, which will be presented to the future client. The course allowed me to see the whole process of what it takes to be a visual merchandiser, from the very beginning to the very end . 

Maria Paraskevopoulou from PG Cert Visual Merchandising

How has the course changed your approach?

The course has also taught me the importance of embracing each other’s ideas. Two of the three projects I’ve mentioned must be done individually while one of them is to be done in pairs. I thus had the chance to work with a person with a completely different background from mine, and this gave me the ability to learn and listen to ideas I would have never thought of. In an industry where original ideas are much needed I believe that this was very important, as we learnt how to support each other and improve our ways of thinking.

Without a doubt, my experience in LCF has been life-changing and now I am looking into embracing everything I have learnt: both skills and knowledge.

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