Review: Retail Design Collective 2016

RDC took place in the Big Apple, Dec. 7-9
Posted February 1, 2017

Retail designers and visual merchandisers alike could be spotted along New York’s 25th Street and throughout the city during the Shop! Retail Design Collective, held Dec. 7-9, 2016. Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Acevedo and Managing Editor Carly Hagedon joined them to see the latest in visual merchandising, lighting, fixtures and materials. VMSD was a media sponsor of the event.

Twelve showrooms opened their doors to visitors, and this year, many also played host to educational sessions offered throughout the week. Bernstein Display showcased sculptor Michael Katok, who offered a fascinating live demo so attendees could watch a mannequin take shape as the day progressed.

Architectural Systems Inc. was home to a well-attended panel discussion, “How Successful Leaders in Retail Balance a Branded Life,” moderated by the company’s Co-Founder and President Nancy Jackson and featuring Megan Gundrum, Hudson’s Bay Co.; Cindi Kato, CallisonRTKL; MJ Munsell, MG2; Linda Lombardi, Godiva Chocolatier; and Kathleen Jordan, Gensler.

In the showrooms, attendees saw mannequins designed with a smaller physical footprint to encourage grouping and to make the most of valuable store real estate. Environmentally friendly materials have also made their way into forms, with various brands introducing new biodegradable and sustainable lines. Mannequins of all body types were also popular this year with many more plus-size options, and the menagerie of animal companions has expanded beyond dogs to cats and other creatures, much to our delight.

On the fixture side, visitors saw an increase in the use of risers, for both mannequins and product display. Mixed-use and eco-friendly materials remain popular, while laser-cut customization and design reached new heights in precision.

The 20th Annual PAVE Gala moved to a new location, just a short and festive ferry ride across the East River to the Duggal Greenhouse at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The vast, modern event space was transformed into a beautiful evening venue for dinner and the subsequent awards presentation.

At the event, Acevedo and Editorial Advisor/New York Editor Eric Feigenbaum presented VMSD’s annual Excellence in Visual Merchandising and Design Award to Barneys New York (New York), for its Chelsea store design; Samsung 837 (New York), for its experiential store on Washington Street; and Sonos (Santa Barbara, Calif.), for its debut flagship in Lower Manhattan. Matthew Mazzucca, vp of windows and exteriors, Barneys New York, and Eslam Khalil, senior manager - store and visual design, Samsung Electronics America, accepted the crystal apple awards on behalf of their organizations.–