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Creativity is vital in visual merchandising

Lauretta Roberts

A lack of great visual merchandising skills is a common lament of major retailers.

Buyers and designers are abundant but the same can’t be said of good visual merchandising professionals - and those who are good are snapped up by the world’s leading players and guarded jealously.

But this is one area where indies can really excel. This week we bring you an interview with one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, Humberto Leon of cult multi-brand boutique Opening Ceremony.

“Success is not about high gloss and polish but customer engagement”

A brilliant example of how creativity and passion trump big budgets, Leon and business partner Carol Lim set up shop in 2002. Opening Ceremony has gone on to win worldwide acclaim for its interiors and collaborations, the latest of which is an installation in Hong Kong department store Lane Crawford.

Leon’s thoughts should make for encouraging reading for any indie with aspirations of greatness (Leon and Lim were inspired by thrift store shopping). While the store is known for being at the leading edge of VM with its quirky, interactive displays, Leon makes the point that success is not about high gloss and polish, but encouraging customer engagement and pushing the product.

Simple but effective advice: good VM puts product at the centre. Customers don’t buy your displays, but they are what draws them through the door.


Lauretta Roberts, creative director, WGSN Boutique.

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