This semester I'm taking Fashion Photography, Product Presentation, Visual Merchandising: History, Theory & Practice, Finance, Direct Marketing, Consumer Behavior and Senior Co-Op Prep. As you can imagine, it's a busy semester and I'm feeling the heat, with final project deadlines looming and finals to study for.
As a Visual Merchandising major, it's not all play and no work, creatively speaking. We are required to take a lot of business-related classes as well as the more fun, creative classes. Not that fun means an easy ride. It requires a lot of extra work, time and dedication to receive high grades. Because of the variety of classes we have to take, I learn just as much about the business world of fashion as I do about creative techniques.
This semester I've learned so much, including how the stock market works, the importance of direct marketing, understanding consumer purchasing habits, how to paint with light in a photograph (and other photographic techniques), and how to effectively create displays to promote and highlight merchandise. Is your brain hurting as much as mine right now?!
It is as important to develop and strengthen my creative skills for when I enter the visual merchandising world as a college graduate as it is to learn about how the business world operates and how the other sectors of the fashion industry operate in order to be successful. I recently had a discussion with the Head of Display at Harvey Nichols in London about what she deemed were important skills to have as a visual merchandiser. She stated that she thought that with regard to the future state of the industry and the world economy today, it was important to be a well-rounded professional with experience and knowledge in all aspects of the visual merchandising industry. This made me feel super-smug because that is exactly how LIM College prepares us. I feel one step ahead of the game already!