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Visual Merchandising Students Take on Real-World Challenge in RDI’s Iron Design Competition
Elizabeth Berardi on team whose design will be used for Haitian ice cream shop
On March 12, a group of LIM College Visual Merchandising students gathered at the Bolon Showroom in Long Island City to take part in the Retail Design Institute’s (RDI) Iron Design Competition. Elizabeth Berardi, Alexis Gonzalez, Monai McCullough, Bianca Bartolo, Sarah Montgomery, and Morgan Walsh joined students from FIT and Pratt to create a design for Blue Marble Dreams’ Bel Rev ice cream shop in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Blue Marble Dreams is the non-profit division of Blue Marble Ice Cream brand and shops. The mission of Blue Marble Dreams is to support the joy and prosperity of communities in need through the (unlikely) medium of ice cream. Their first project trained a group of women drummers in Rwanda, to open their own business co-op and ice cream shop. The Bel Rev Ice Cream shop in Haiti is their second project.
For the competition, all the participating students were divided into teams. Each team was led by an industry mentor. The mentors were: Linda Lombardi, Vice President - Global Store Design and Visual Merchandising, Godiva; Laura Harsch, Vice President - Shop Design & Development, Macy’s Merchandising Group; Sarah Bartelt, Interior Designer, Rockwell Group; Peter Burgoyne, Creative Director, CBX and Brian Guze, former Director - Store Design, Starbucks. Alexis Miesen, Executive Director of Blue Marble Dreams, was also on site to answer questions during the competition.
LIM College student Elizabeth Berardi was a member of the winning team. She says, “I had a great time working with students from other schools and industry professionals to create the design concept. Knowing that my ideas may come to life in the Blue Marble Dreams project in Haiti is very rewarding.”
PHOTO: Top row – Morgan Walsh, Visual Merchandising Chair Eric Feigenbaum. Bottom row – Sarah Montgomery, Bianca Bartolo, Elizabeth Berardi, Alexis Gonzalez, Visual Merchandising Associate Chair Marjorie Lee Woo