In today’s digital age, the photo-worthiness of a retail establishment could be more beneficial to the bottom line than one might think. While a distinct brand DNA is important for every band in the fashion arena today, it’s the need of the hour that it should be visible throughout the store. As the trend catches up in India, retail formats across the country are reflecting myriad visual merchandising strategies to breathe in new life into their store as well as products.
A forerunner in the field of effective Visual Merchandising (VM) is Wills Lifestyle, whose VM strategies, over the years, have singularly helped the brand to take its retail game to the next level. In this special coverage of IMAGES Business of Fashion, we dissect the brand’s Organic Window Concept strategy for Summer/Spring 2019.
The current impetus on‘a healthier way of life’ has probably, in common minds, gotten restricted to organic eating, supplements, cleansers and purifiers. While all of the above do impact and help give back to the environment, organic clothing, if universally resorted to, will have far reaching consequences; seriously saving our planet from the fatal debris we create and allowing it to ‘breathe’. As the advocacy for sustainable fashion and organic clothing gains momentum, it has increasingly been apparent that ‘Going Green ’isn’t just planting more trees; it is also about letting them live to see us through. As a part of this responsible endeavour, ITC Limited has become the first major mainstream fashion apparel brand to go all organic, in line with its other divisions focusing on the same ideology. This cohesive approach shows its seriousness towards contributing to environment and society helping people associated with these trades across the entire product lifecycle.
While in the previous seasons it focused on Indian-made and Indian crafts as its key USP, this season, Wills Lifestyle unveils itself with a whole new identity – ‘Natural on our Minds’. Aligning to this identity, the brand exercises all fundamental processes consideration the environment and it’s preservation. The collection presented this season is completely natural in terms of cotton fabrics, trims, treatment and execution.
“As the VM brains behind the idea, we have tried to represent the key idea of ‘Natural on our Minds’ in this season via merging two simultaneous plots together in the same window – the co-relation between humans, the earth’s well-being, the need to preserve nature and how to go about it vis-à-vis apparel fashion; as the key feature of the window display,” says Akash Ashesh, Country Head – Visual Merchandiser, ITC-LRBD.
To visually represent this great new step in its domain, the WLS thought of not just making cottons a talking element across its windows but also focused on why sustainable fashion is crucial and significant today. As an apparel brand, WLS strives to build consciousness towards sustainable organic fashion, by explicitly showcasing the manufacturing process and how it helps conserve natural resources and physical well-being; and at the same time, ensures longer shelf life and reduced dispose/scrap.
“As we try to incorporate not just our brand’s fashion sensibility but it’s adherence to social responsibility in the minds of our customers, we do hope our visual messaging echoes deeply with everyone and we walk together on this path of greater good for generations to come. WLS truly becoming your indefinite lifestyle partner in the times of today,” adds Akash Ashesh.
The window concept involves an innovative and creative amalgamation of natural materials to bring alive this introspective equation in human minds. A human face built in 3D with multiple layers of MDF (wood) sheets representing how current production capabilities and display trends are merged with natural materials to make a window look ‘alive’. Mother Earth has been depicted in a human’s mind using a 3D rocky terrain proto with a live natural plant growing from within it. The plant, a Ficus Retusa, has been potted, kept alive in its natural conditions.
The rocky terrain consists of stones made out of rolled waste paper, paper masking tape and newspapers all of which is biodegradable. The structure has been mounted on a combination of the same corrugated sheets and MDF boards, again biodegradable. The spotlights added to this infrastructure ensure proper light and temperature requirements for the plant to thrive indoor. The overall depiction has been done in the designated organic colour palette of greens, browns, warm whites and blues for an enhanced visually natural impact.