The final project in the Fall 2018 semester’s Visual Merchandising: History, Theory and Practice course, taught by Associate Chair of Visual Studies Grailing King, challenged students to create a proposal for a new floor fixture or a cabinet insert for travel accessories in a Vera Bradley store.
Melisa Flickinger, Director of Visual Merchandising, Store Planning and Design, and Harry Cunningham, Vice President, Creative Services at Vera Bradley, visited the LIM campus on December 5 to review the students’ presentations of their fixture concepts.
In addition to offering materials samples, each student articulated the rationale for why they chose a particular shape, dimensions and capacity, and explained how their proposed design is compatible with the Vera Bradley brand.
According to Cunningham, who is a member of LIM’s Fashion Industry Advisory Board and the LIM Fashion Education Foundation Board, the Vera Bradley team was excited to partner with LIM for this hands-on learning opportunity, “Giving students real-world experiences is so important. Affording them opportunities to test their ideas and get immediate feedback will better help them prepare for work life after college,” he noted.
Cunningham and Flickinger, along with partners from the Vera Bradley Design and Visual Merchandising teams, selected Jae Young Choi, a senior Visual Studies major originally from Seoul, South Korea, as the challenge winner.
In addition to high marks in his course and bragging rights, Jae received a scholarship award as well as an all-expenses paid trip to the Vera Bradley campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana to help bring his concept to fruition.
On January 18, Jae spent a collaborative day at the Vera Bradley Design Center working alongside the Visual Merchandising, Merchandising, and Design teams, and the fixture manufacturer. His time in Fort Wayne also included a campus tour with Vera Bradley Co-founder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and a group lunch and discussion with members of the Leadership team. The “Jae Table” will be soon be used in Vera Bradley stores.