FIDM Visual Communications Students were treated to a guest lecture today from Saks Fifth Avenue: Harry Cunningham, Sr. VP of Store Planning and Visual Merchandising, and Matt Reed, VP of Visual Merchandising. Cunningham is on FIDM's Visual Communications Advisory Council and Board of Director for the PAVE/Planning and Visual Education Partnership organization.
The two creative executives gave a curated presentation about the innovative window displays at Saks, discussing important design considerations such as mannequin styles, lighting, design, props, framing, the use of color, and working within a limited budget.
The students were treated to images of fantastic window displays featuring headpieces made from cellophane, spray-painted Dixie cups artfully arranged on the wall space, string art sandwiched between two sheets of glass, a shoe display with various objects painted white and mounted on the wall, an umbrella display against a wall of dripping paint, a dress "sculpted" from shredded paper, and words spelled out with colored extensions cords. A recent Carolina Herrera Saks window featured mannequins wearing paper masks hand-drawn by Carolina Herrera herself.
Mr. Cunningham stressed the importance of getting out of the comfort zone in work. "Challenge yourself," he advised the students. "Try something new."