Fashion merchandising students worked with a local council and retailers to rejuvenate empty store windows in a shopping strip in Melbourne's north.
As part of a collaboration with Moreland City Council, vibrant festive displays at the Merlynston Shopping Strip were created by Associate Degree in Fashion and Textile Merchandising students for the Windows WOW! Window Rejuvenation Program.
The displays featured products from local retailers Cargo Crew, Wheatbags Love, Ruby Woman, Harlow, and Kick and Screen, with students working with each business to come up with a design concept for the empty windows.
First year students Brighid Donovan and Vania Tirtasandjaja were awarded $200 each for their winning window design, made with products from 2015 Telstra National Small Business Award Winner, Cargo Crew.
Cargo Crew owner, RMIT alumni Narelle Craig and Felicity Rodgers, were thrilled to be a part of the window rejuvenation event.
“When we were approached by the council we thought that being involved in the project would be a wonderful opportunity to give back to the uni, and to provide real-life experience for current students,” Craig said.
“The students were so professional; we were particularly impressed by their ability to interpret our brief and marketing strategy, presenting our products beyond just hospitality.”
Kathy Rose, Moreland City Council Industry Facilitation officer, said the windows provided many benefits and outcomes to the local people of Merlynston, local business, and RMIT students.
“Rejuvenating an area provides a space where people want to linger, rather than passing by; locals will be more likely to stop, look at the local shops and the products in the window,” she said.
“This project will also provide an opportunity for local designers to reach new markets by displaying their products in a different location, local traders to connect with local residents and RMIT students with an opportunity to gain real life work experience.”
Carmen Pricone, teacher and work placement coordinator, said the project was an opportunity for students to showcase their visual merchandising skills and expertise, as well as grow the industry data base for work placement.
“We would love to repeat this project next year and hope to include even more brands or designers and involve more students,” she said.
Pricone was awarded a 2015 RMIT Teaching Award for her outstanding contribution to coordinating and strengthening RMIT’s relationships with the textile, clothing and footwear industry.
Success Begins Here: Start your creative career in fashion business with the Associate Degree in Fashion and Textile Merchandising.
Story: Emma Morgan