If you’ve ever walked past a particularly intriguing shop window, you will know that visual merchandising
is a skill. The creatives behind the process want to wow you, for you to be so enamoured or shocked by the display that it stops you in your tracks. In addition to surprising and dazzling the consumer, they are part of the retailer’s brand strategy to get consumers to come in and shop.
“The windows are sort of a secondary form of marketing.. anyone can enjoy them. So they’re like free entertainment,” said Simon Doonan
, the creative director for Barneys, who created some of the most talked about windows for the US retailer. And in the age of Instagram
, visual merchandising has become even more important.
One studio that is owning the VM game right now, is London-based Studio XAG
Here’s four things you need to know about the studio:
1. The studio was set up by Central Saint Martins graduates
Graduates Gemma Ruse and Xavier Sheriff set up StudioXAG in 2009
, based in east London. What started out as Gemma painting and illustrating, while Xavier created the props, has now advanced to a team of 12, crafting projects for global fashion and music companies.
Complete with popped bottles of Bollinger champagne- Patsy and Edina’s favourite tipple.
3. The studio goes beyond just window displays, it also creates immersive brand experiences.
Taking inspiration from the iconic flick Saturday Night Fever, Studio XAG recreated the movie with defined an era of dance, by creating an immersive experience
for natural beauty company, Lush Cosmetics
to celebrate the launch of its new fragrance called ‘Staying Alive’.
4. They work with exciting materials and textiles
From hardwood boombox structures for Diesel to a hot-rolled steel structure with draped black cabling for Y-3 conduit store and a multi-sensory experience transporting consumers from the set of a French bistro to a Seventies disco! This is more than just prop design. They build sets from scratch in the studio and in some cases, in the pavement outside the store front, for a real authentic personalised structure for each retail/luxury label.
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