The London trip gave me the opportunity to not only broaden my cultural calendar, but also undertake contextual research for the upcoming two projects.
Chloe and I went round together and focused on the Covent Garden, Soho, Regent Street and Carnaby Street areas, also going to Dover Street Market on the way.
When walking down the streets, I made sure that I took in my surroundings from different angles, getting photographs of what I could see directly in front of me and up and down. I was able to look at areas of London in a new perspective which I could use as visual inspiration. I am going to crop some of them to reveal the texture of the architecture or design, which may stimulate ideas for creative concepts.
I honestly wasn’t blown away with the window displays that we walked passed, especially the Topshop window display which was very overcrowded and bombarded with colour and pattern, without a focal point. The font used in their campaign imagery is also like one you would have seen in an M&S advert a couple of years ago and didn’t, in my opinion, correspond with the bold window display.
Similarly, I found that & Other Stories competitors’ displays were uninspiring and none of them utilised technology which could be a gap to be filled. The Reiss window, Arket and Cos all used static mannequins with muted colour palettes which were not engaging.
Having said this, other brands did infuse subtle hints of ASMR into their displays – based one the different senses: Penhaligons, diffused fragrance on to the street, Muji, had aroma diffusers on inside of the window, Diesel had large rounded white balls stuck around the doorway and Gentle Monster used fabric and texture. I have learnt that it doesn’t have to be extreme, as this could be uncomfortable ASMR, but there could just be a reference to it.
I am pleased that I asked to interview one of the & Other Stories’ visual merchandisers as I was able to fill our gaps in secondary research and gain insight into their current concepts for displays, their aesthetic and key considerations. I am going to review my transcript and pull out any gaps and opportunities that we could go forward with.