VMSD - May 2016 - (Page 76)

Checking Out Interview by Jennifer Carly Hagedon Acevedo Joseph Abboud What was your experience starting out as a visual merchandiser for Louis Boston? I'm a retailer trapped inside a designer's body, because I've always loved retail and the visual aspect of retail. Louis Boston was once one of the great men's stores globally. It was considered a fashion leader, it was quality, it had a point of view. One of my responsibilities there was the visual - selecting the visuals, dressing the mannequins, picking the props. I'd try to tell a story. Very early on, I found that I could sell product better through my visuals than through our sales associates. Does a particular philosophy drive your work? We're artisans and merchants. The philosophy is: Do the right thing for the customer and make them happy. They're endorsing you when they buy [a] garment with your label on it. In my mind, that's an enormous obligation and responsibility to give the customer the best - not just from a design and style standpoint, but from quality, price [and] value. 76 MAY 2016 | vMsd.coM What does visual merchandising mean to you? Visual is extremely important to me. Our current windows [at the Madison Avenue store] are all about custom. But we don't just say, "Come get a custom suit." We talk about the romance of the Italian fabrics, we show the guts of the garment, and we lay fabrics out. Along with the information, there's romance. Rather than being clinical about it, I want to be more inspirational and aspirational. What advice do you offer young designers? It's a difficult climate for young designers. There are fewer and fewer specialty stores out there, unfortunately ... If you're going to be an artist, paint on canvas. But if you're going to be a commercial designer, you have to be in touch with the consumer. It's about connecting with the consumer.  Tailor-Made From where do you draw inspiration? I get it from all over the place. Modern menswear originated in the U.K. and all of those wonderful Savile Row custom tailors. London, to me, is still a city of shops. Even though there are department stores, it's a city of very unique and creative shops. I think of all the cities - and I love them all - but there's something about London that is so eclectic. You find these great little 400-square-foot shops. That's where I draw a lot of inspiration from. When we create collections and design product, it starts with an idea. C our te sy of J o se ph Abboud , N e w y or k The legendary fashion designer, and former window dresser and merchandiser, shares his thoughts on navigating the world of menswear - and his love of visual. http://www.vMsd.coM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - May 2016

VMSD - May 2016
Contents
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
Design Detail
Denim Dreams
Special Report: State of the Industry
2016 Retail Design Firm Resource Guide
Anchors Away
Savor the Flavor
On Point
Showroom: Signage and Graphics
Showroom: Flooring
Ad Index
Checking Out

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