Visual merchandising; Japanese style

I was recently invited on a trip to Japan with our Commercial Director, Danny Campbell, Head of Partnerships, Lisa Giove and Head Retail Buyer, Biba McCormack-Young. We headed out to preview the new autumn/winter collections from our Official Clothing Partner, TSI.

As the Visual Merchandise Coordinator for our five stores at St Andrews Links, I jumped at the exciting opportunity to see new styles and ways of bringing to life in-store merchandise and I wasn’t disappointed!

On the day we arrived, we dropped our bags at the hotel and myself, Biba and Ai – who works in marketing for TSI – headed out to the Ginza district. We visited some of the department stores named ‘The House’ which feature the St Andrews Collection as well as other TSI brands including ‘Pearly Gates’ and ‘Jack Bunny’. Bright yellow was the dominant colour in the stores!

In the evening we went out for dinner to Gonpachi. I was so excited about this because the restaurant is said to be Quintin Tarantino’s inspiration behind the famous Uma Thurman and the Crazy 88’s fight scene in Kill Bill, one of my favourite films!

The next day we met with Miyake, Senza, Kamiya and Ai, the TSI management team, before heading to their exhibition for buyers, press and invited guests at The Spiral Building in Aoyama.

Each day of the exhibition there was a presentation put on that showcased their new collections. The theme for TSI’s St Andrews Autumn/Winter line was ‘Future Trad’, an arrangement of traditional motifs and patterns for modern style. Biba chose pieces from the fall collections which will feature in The Old Course Shop from August, 2019.

I took the opportunity to walk around the exhibition and view the merchandised displays.

Something I loved was how they took the pattern from the clothing and used it on the base of the display frames. It was really effective and tied the whole look together…

On our last full day, we had some free time in the morning so we went on a guided tour of some traditional areas of Tokyo. We visited the Tsukiji fish market and Senso-ji – Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple set in Asakusa with a five-towered Shinto Shrine next to it.

We also took a walk to Akihabara aka ‘Electric Town’ where you will see everything from anime to video games and a huge Sega building!

It was great to have experienced a vastly different culture as well as learn new VM techniques that can be a source of inspiration for my team going forward. TSI’s Spring/Summer St Andrews Collection is now available in The Old Course Shop – don’t be surprised to see some Japanese influences in its display!

Words by Paula Aird, Visual Merchandise Coordinator

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