Visual Merchandising

ANNA SMITH [@akat_creations]

Anna is a visual merchandising assistant for Selfridges & Co, a retailer that has been awarded “The Best Department Store in the World”. She went from intern to full time with Selfridges alongside delving into other areas of the creative industry along the way.

You currently work for Selfridges & Co. as a Visual Merchandiser, could you give us an insight to what a day at work would look like?

My usual day at Selfridges starts at 7/7:30am quick morning briefing of actions that needs doing from the weekly floor walk, such as mannequin changes, suite movements, window feedback and extra cleaning. We try get most of the jobs done before store opens at 10, mid morning break with a
tea and catch up on progress with jobs list. Then depending on how far we are along with scheme we will be doing research, creative meetings organising the void/ storage spaces and making suites for the new scheme. – the days go very fast!

As a graduate in Design for Performance, what did uni do for you in regards to where you are now in the creative industry?

The course I did at uni was very broad which allowed me to explore lots of topics before I landed on VM, I was given the work experience opportunity at Selfridges through uni, as the VM manager did the same course. Tutors had a broad knowledge of design and helped me with the degree as much as they could but anything specific to VM for my research I used books in the library.

“Throw yourself into any work experience you get and be patient when you leave uni…”

Have you taken part in any internships/work experience? If so, where and what did you get out of it?

Yes I have done 4 different types of work experience fiction foundry (film set), 2000 Trees (festival), Shiny People (events) and Selfridges (VM). They were all very fun, hands on and creative. I’m a very practical person so I got a lot of practical building and craft skills also a background knowledge on how different industry’s work.

Where do you draw most of your inspo when coming up with the window and display ideas?

Pintrest is a great way to inspire new ways to design, when we get our pack briefing from London
for schemes they have some funky pictures from artist to draw inspo.

Any advice for young creatives/graduates wanting to pursue a career in visual merchandising?

Advice I’d give would be to throw yourself into any work experience you get and be patient when you leave uni your career wont start straight away it takes time to build.

Your dream brand/retailer you’d love to design a window for?

Dream retailer I either Selfridges or Louis Vuitton – based my dissertation on their windows.