Taking into account the fact that, as it has been stated before, mannequin manufacturing and the entire process of creating displays can be seen as a relatively new form of art, various approaches can be developed in order to create outstanding and intriguing ways of catching the eye of the customers in dress shops. The main point is to come up with something utterly new and capable of releasing an adequate image of the entire collection we intent to bring forward. Being a form of art, there are many principles that can be adopted so as to respond positively to the market challenges.
The use of pop-art principles can be an easy way to solve the problem of “coming with something new”. Pop-art emerged as an escape from elitist era of fine arts, a way of bringing art among the normal people. The decadent / avant-garde art of the beginning of the 19th century had a conceptual aspect, thus inaccessible for those who didn’t know some principles of the history of art or about the history of ideas. Pop-art appeared in a period when mass consumption emerged as a result of the grand industrial and technical development. Art had to cope with new techniques, new habits and new thinking at a certain extent.
So pop-art was a choice of imitative arts to remain connected with the people for whom it was meant. This aspect represents one of the first reasons for choosing pop-art as a basis for what means creating displays, manufacturing mannequins and the fitting of clothes, in a word, every action connected with visual merchandising that we undergo in order to achieve a bigger impact and brand awareness.
Pop-art made use of many elements taken from the popular culture, such as advertising, comic books or cartoon-like representations, common objects or the use of so-called pop iconography – artists, musicians and so on. As long as this kind of art followed these principles, the public became aware of the fact that art was socially involved and could be used as a means for enhancing popularity, just as much as some well-known figures achieved.
Fashion has always been identified with the cult of the popular individual, the one represented by originality, creativity and novelty. This would seem a connection between pop-art and fashion, because, most of the times, pop-art used as a way of expression images with well-known people, who were also fashion icons.
Images courtesy of FIDM Digital Arts.
Let us then understand how the pop-art created its echo among people, teens especially, and how can this help a retailer improve its brand popularity by adopting the same principles in visual merchandising, with direct application to creating displays. First of all, the close-to-people attitude is what we need most.
Everything has to be set in such a way that brings a hue of familiarity in the display: gadgets, images with teen idols, objects that hint at people’s habits. Pop-art never made use of elements that were obscure and unknown to the average people; the art behind it was meant to bring the viewer a certain feeling that (s)he is actually privileged by simply being the observer.
The mere fact of being able to comprehend the entire display is a psychological effect that has as a result the feeling that we create meaning and purpose, thus we are important. This is a reality that needs to be exploited in order to keep up with the customer’s desires; a customer needs to feel appreciated and, why not, flattered!
Artistic endeavor, be it music, theater, film, is the main source for fashion retailers in order to gain popularity. It is not necessary that a TV star, for example, should be associated with a certain brand of clothes, but it’s the brand that needs to be advertised first. Pop-art has these benefits of creating a connection between an artistic endeavor (such is the visual merchandising), celebrity and popularity (coming from the use of the principle of the so-called pop-iconography) and the client-oriented aspect (the fact of being a close-to-people artistic expression).
When trying to actually “put on stage” a pop-art display, we need to evaluate first the target that fits the offer. According to our collection, we establish then the average age, and we choose a well-known teen-idol or many, and we set the display accordingly: mannequins resembling him/her, the outfit according to his/her preferences, an atmosphere that defines his/her habits. It is not a heavy effort and, at the same time, it has the benefits of a versatile activity: we can change the display each season or any time we feel the need for a refresh.
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