Today was our first day waking up in Verona and I couldn’t wait to get the day started. We ended up having to walk to a different hotel in order to board a coach to take us to the New Academy of Design. Despite the lengthy lecture time of nearly 3 hours, it was one of my favorites. The topic of discussion was interior and fashion design. This led into how the two combine and contribute to retail merchandising. The lecture was very interesting to me because I would ideally look to go into fashion merchandising so it all pertained to my career.
Something else that was really fun was the interior design portion. It had me reminiscing back to my freshman year of high school when I took interior design as an elective. This ended up being my favorite course, but I never realized in the moment how similar the class was to real life interior design and even to the projects that students at this university were creating. I vividly remember having to use grids to make floor-plans followed by mood boards with color schemes and furniture/appliances I’d want in my design. This reignited my interest in this field and really had me wishing that PITT offered more courses in this area along with merchandising itself. We also took a pause in the conversation to discuss how engineering and business professionals work together to make a successful merchandising plan. Business professionals are the ones who understand the consumer and determine what will make them come into the store, stay and make a purchase. Engineers are the ones go can give the go ahead on whether or not the layout/design is feasible.
We also visited a nearby mall which was so exciting to see because it reminded me a little bit of home. I thought that it was a very beautiful mall and resembled King of Prussia due to the large size. Our last visit was to Mero and More which was one of the company’s within the fashion consortium. This was a production facility that cut and designed an assortment of fabrics. We learned that their supply chains are very short and lay within the borders of Italy. This means that the majority of their production facilities are based here. They also mentioned that they really want to get into the US market, however, this is an extremely difficult task. When explaining why, it brought me back to a lecture I had previously sat through in Professor Atkin’s MCE class. This is because he taught that in the US there is the most interest in luxury/high end and reduced price markets and much less in the middle of the road market. This is the same reason that makes it so hard to obtain a market with Mero and More’s product in the US because they produce products that are middle priced. I was able to learn a lot today and now am so eager to explore the rest of Verona tonight.
Ciao for now!