An omni-channel experience Bar Menu
After my 3-year course in Istituto Marangoni in Milan and many interesting projects developed during my academic career, I graduated with honors and had my first working experience soon after: an opportunity to work as a freelancer for Triumph in collaboration with Marangoni. I was very excited, yet scared because I never thought the lingerie industry would be so closely linked to fashion. I was wrong!
This experience allowed me to get a deeper look into the elegant world of women’s lingerie. With my team, I developed a concept that would appeal to a younger target, creating a showstopper display featuring Triumph’s iconic Amourette bra.
We met Triumph representatives to understand their needs. Then, with our amazing mentor, Carlos Gonzalez, we studied different case scenarios and the latest lingerie trends: lingerie is no longer something that we wear only under our clothes, and greater attention is given to comfort. Some women show off their lingerie when they go to clubs and bars, adding a sexy touch to their style.
Another insight is the dichotomy between the success of brands like Fenty by Rihanna, and the controversy around brands like Victoria’s Secret: the goal is to portray women fairly and send out a powerful message.
After analyzing all these factors, our aim was to do something fun, engaging and in line with our times. That’s how the “Choose your bra like you choose a cocktail” concept was born.
I focused on creating a window display for the popular Triumph’s Duomo store in Milan. For the “cocktails & bras” concept, we chose colors like hot pink, pastel pink and burgundy red.
Each Amourette bra was named after a cocktail that matched its color and style. This idea was turned into reality by creating a “Bar menu” and handing out fliers in the store.
The part I enjoyed the most was that the Company had not considered any in-store experience. I then proposed an omni-channel experience, so that customers who entered the store could also feel the “Amourette Bar” concept. This would create a shopping experience from the first step to the purchase.
The window display at the Duomo store included a video of the Bar displayed on a big screen, two small open windows that featured a big cocktail menu and neon boxes with floating bras inside to give it a futuristic look. In the store, there was a table that combined both the neon boxes and the menu, with fliers of cocktail menus that any visitor could take.
Logistics and budgeting were challenging: once we came up with our idea and all the little details of our concept were put in place, we had to find suppliers and choose the materials for the display. Our mentor Carlos guided us through this process and the result exceeded our expectations.
Our window display turned out beautiful and engaging; I even tested how it performed by sitting in front of the Duomo store and observing passers-by: many people stopped, a couple even took pictures, and many walked out with Triumph shopping bags.
I’m grateful for this opportunity and I am ready for the next challenge.
Fashion Styling and Visual Merchandising
Working for real
Let’s be honest, I have not yet met a person that has not looked at the fashion world through rose-tinted glasses. I had the great opportunity to work as a Visual Merchandiser in a collaboration project between Triumph and Istituto Marangoni. I would consider this my first real work experience and, as an Alumna, I feel inclined to take on a sisterly role to anyone who would like to pursue the same path as mine and share my experience in a successful Visual Merchandising project like this one.
Working in fashion has been my dream for as long as I can remember. I picked my ideal fashion school, Istituto Marangoni, when I was just fourteen. That said, I’ll admit I was not sure what career I wanted to pursue until I had my first Visual Merchandising classes during my first year.
I thought that working in a real project with a real client would be very different from the projects we created at school; on the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised. I realized early on that the education I received was indeed up to challenges of the process, but I had less time and less freedom.
Time is the only thing that will always work against you. Every other issue you may meet along the way is solvable, every mistake is fixable, but time will just slip by. That is why one of the best tips I can give is not to wait: it is always better to be early than to be late. More than once, I found myself working on things that were not entirely confirmed yet. Most of the time, what I did in advance was right and useful. Don’t postpone your work; it may sound obvious, but I realized it isn’t!
Having to work with a client can cause some creative constraints. First, you must be consistent with the brand’s identity: it is one of the basic rules you learn in school. Some brands may not meet your aesthetic, and sometimes it is honestly more fun if they don’t – it could get more challenging. Creating a proposal that works for the brand identity while satisfying your creative flair can be highly rewarding.
Second, the number of people that must approve your initial idea is higher than you think. I had the opportunity of working with many professionals from the Triumph team, everyone with interesting and useful opinions that we used to finalize our proposal. This is extremely helpful to create the best project for the client but, at the same time, you’ll have to compromise on your creative vision.
Through this collaborative work, it was the first time for me to interact with suppliers who created the installations we had planned. Talking about materials, prop construction and installations helped me gain most of my insights into this experience. Communicating with the suppliers was essential to find the best way to create our vision while meeting the budget.
That said, the little challenges of working in a real-life setting are nothing compared to the positive sides of this opportunity. It confirmed to me that, in the end, I indeed picked the right career path for myself. Even when the days were long and I had to work late into the night, I was happy I could do what I love.
The best part was to be able to see a project I worked on being realized in its entirety, seeing the window displays installed in the store with my own eyes. Weeks and weeks of work finally culminating to that precise moment, I’ll never forget that.
I couldn’t recommend an experience like this enough: to be supported by a top school like Istituto Marangoni, which can collaborate with major brands and give students these kinds of opportunities, is one of the best benefits you can get. The fashion world may seem welcoming, but it is not always as it seems: take every good opportunity that comes your way, learn from the people around you, take all constructive criticism to improve your future career, but, most importantly, follow your aspirations. This is how, even if I took off my rose-tinted glasses, I kept seeing this world in a rose-tinted way.