Athropologie: ART or Fashion?

If you’ve ever stepped foot into an Anthropologie store, you know what I mean…the store is virtually an elaborate set. Today there was a 12 foot tall stack of cardboard cut about 2×4 size from the floor to the ceiling with a 3 foot Globe sandwiched in the middle. There was also a hand crafted chandelier of glass bottles and small vases that were painted and drizzled with various colors of paint. If you are a visual merchandiser for Anthropologie, YOU MUST BE AN ARTIST. I am quite certain they recruit from Art Schools and not Fashion schools because what they create is phenomenal, structural art pieces.

I have never actually purchased anything at Anthropologie, ironically because it is my favorite store. However, I have spent hours in the store, I’ve taken notes, I’ve sketched in there like it is some museum in Paris. Crazy enough, no one has ever told me to stop. The thing about Anthropologie is that they give their visual merchandisers/artists a lot of room for creativity, so that each individual store has some guidelines for each season change, but not some “photos from an official binder” to copy. It makes going into various Anthropologie stores an EXPERIENCE. Like the Louvre or Muse d’ Orsay in Paris, you know you’ll see Renoir or Degas, but it will be a different one. That might be huge of me to compare Anthropologie to the MASTERS, but it’s just that I really respect Anthropologie for taking time, for being different and artistic, for giving their staff freedom to create, to put their efforts into their brand the way they do. I hope it pays off for them, I can’t actually pay them anything yet (well, I guess I could buy something like an $18 dish towel from France, but I hesitated because I thought it was too pretty to use on drying my kid’s sticky fingers).

Today’s Magic Wand: Visit the Mall and just LOOK around you, don’t actually shop. Just look at how things are displayed, organized, merchandised. These companies are spending a great deal of time to these details because it should and usually DOES translate into dollars. Why does it work? What doesn’t work?? Think about it. Write down some notes, sketches.

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