RMIT students have created unique headpieces for UNIQLO in a collaboration to help promote a new range of jeans at the global fashion brand's Emporium Melbourne store.
UNIQLO’s Marketing Director Tracey Lang wanted to work with the Visual Merchandising students because of RMIT’s reputation in design.
“Many of our visual merchandising team members are graduates of the RMIT program, so it felt like a natural fit working with the students,” Lang explained.
“We also had great feedback from our colleagues and senior management.”
RMIT Visual Merchandising Program Coordinator Sam Falanga sees the benefits his students gain from completing real-life briefs.
“It enriches the student learning experience and instils confidence in participants,” Falanga said.
“The real-world nature of such projects means that students graduate from the program with valuable professional experience that employers value greatly.”
RMIT Diploma of Visual Merchandising students Olivia Wells, Sarah Cardamone, Nadia Kerr, Courtney Boehm, Gemma Smith and Kristy Pryor took part in the project.
Wells, Cardamone and Kerr share their experiences working with UNIQLO.
What was your favourite aspect of this project?
Cardamone: Being able to work with a brief from an actual retailer, but also the creative freedom I had. It was amazing to see the final window come together. I felt like I learnt a lot from this experience.
Wells: Seeing my designs come to life and having the opportunity to show my work to the public.
How did you work with UNIQLO representatives to deliver the brief?
Kerr: Initially, the Visual Merchandising Styling Co-ordinator Julia Fazakerley delivered the brief at a lecture. After our designs were selected we corresponded primarily through email and had a few face-to-face meetings. During the meetings we got to present our prototypes before working on the installation.
Why is industry-based project work important to you?
Cardamone: Being able to network and learn first-hand from people in the industry will definitely help me with future employment.
Wells: Making industry connections is a very important part of studying. I feel like this opportunity has allowed me to meet and work with people who have provided me with further insights into the industry that I want to work in.
Do you think this has added value to your CV?
Kerr: Yes for sure. Collaborating with a really exciting global brand that is making a statement in the Australian market has added huge value to my CV.
Wells: The skills I have gained through my involvement in this project will add to and enhance my CV. I’m hoping that this unique experience will make me stand out to future employers!
What is your favourite part of studying Visual Merchandising at RMIT?
Cardamone: The hands-on approach that RMIT have to projects and simply having the ability to be creative every day.
Kerr: Being able to create concepts for window installations and having the opportunity to meet and hear from current industry professionals.
How has this course prepared you for your future career?
Wells: By presenting us with real-life opportunities such as the UNIQLO window and helping us to work with clients. These opportunities have given me the confidence to make me feel like I am ready to work in the industry.
Success Begins Here: Start your creative career in retail, event and styling design with RMIT's industry celebrated Diploma of Visual Merchandising. Apply now for midyear.
Story: Jordan Di Stefano