COLUMN - A new term: high expectations & unparalleled experiences

Monday, 31 March 2014
Fashion student column RomeIn between a lot of time spent with family and friends, a little trip to Paris, a week of skiing (nothing very extraordinary as an Austrian, I know), I felt confirmed once more that you just can not take a break from fashion or the all engaging enthusiasm you feel when  it comes to the worldwide impact of it. Even if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere in between the Austrian Alps, snow, trees and a bunch of tourists. Anyway, after more than enough university break, it is actually quite pleasant to get back into a normal working routine and pursue your studies.
Every new term starts with high expectations (and even higher ambition). A little “spring academy” inaugurated this new term at AMD Munich. We started with a multitude of courses to choose from, therefore finding ourselves mixed up with other students of the academy. As my first choice course was cancelled, I ended up in “Setting up a business in fashion retail”, more because there was nothing else left than on my explicit demand. alt

But as fate willed, I was intrigued from the first moment on. Unlike one may think, there is an extremely deliberated and longsome process behind the creation of every store. It starts with all the work that has to be done before you can even think of what to put inside your store. Things that actually seem as if they would be easily done, but are in fact very complex stages of a store opening. First of all, you have to decide the shop location which goes hand in hand with a meticulous city analysis. Usually the best and most lucrative places are already occupied and why would you open a store on a corner no one ever passes by? The next important steps are the financial possibilities, a SWOT-analysis (which means the possible strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarding my store) and many more. After the entire pre-work is done, you have to start with the marketing and think of your USP, your unique selling point: why are you special? What defines you and what is setting you apart? And finally, of course, the day-to-day business. The workshop made me realize that things in retail business are not as simple as they may seem at first sight. After a week insight in this tough business, with a tutor of remarkable enthusiasm, I can say that I honestly feel deep respect for any successful store-manager. This is definitely no bed of roses.
painting romeThe Glory of Water
And in between spring academy, kick-off week and application training for my internship in the 5th semester, I had to make up a little time slot to visit “The Glory of Water” in Munich’s Haus der Kunst. A seven-day exhibit portraying the aesthetic fountains of Rome through the camera lens of Fendi designer Karl Lagerfeld. Occasion for that exceptional event, is the opening of a Fendi store in Munich. Part of the exhibition is also the Fendi-Fashionfilm “Histoire d’Eau” directed by Jacques de Bascher in 1977. The visit was beyond doubt, a more than well invested time.

Image right: The exhibition room „The Glory of Water“
Image left: A fountain in Rome, sketch from Karl Lagerfeld

Nadja Herscovici, AMD Munich.