December 17, 2014

DSW Union Square teamed up with the Fashion Marketing students at The Art Institute of California on a special project to kick off the holiday season. The group was charged with planning, designing, and constructing a unique holiday window display for the San Francisco DSW store. And while they were building and constructing their beautiful designs, we chatted with a few of them to understand their whole design process—here’s what went down!

What inspired your theme, Holiday Dreaming?
Taiisha D.:
We were inspired by a collaboration of ideas that would really highlight the shoes and accessories of DSW (rather than just choosing a typical holiday theme and making the product fit).

Daniel F.:
Absolutely. And the theme reminds me of a scene from The Chronicles of Narnia, where the white witch rides through a beautiful and enchanting forest, full of fresh snow.

How do you kick off a big project like this?
Candace F.:
After meeting with the DSW store managers, the team measured the windows and began researching and putting ideas together.

Savannah G.:
We created multiple digital mockups in Photoshop, voted on our favorite design, and began refining the chosen concept.

What did you use to build this fabulous display?
Bridget R.:
We got pretty creative with a lot of inexpensive materials like binder clips, fish wire, duct tape, felt, fabric, and of course, shoes!

Sanjil K.:
Plus, we used faux trees, LED lights, letter blocks, and snowflakes to bring the  holiday theme to life.

Wow! How many people worked on the window? Did it take long to build?
Tamarus M.:
There were eleven students and one instructor working on the design and installation. 

Samantha W.:
The installation took place in two parts: the initial construction took about 3 hours, and then after reviewing the design with managers, we spent another 2 hours making final changes. The whole process was exciting!

Is this your team’s first time designing and building a store window?
Lechae P.:
Well, I’m currently a visual merchandiser for a major department store, so I’ve designed things like this before for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day.

Taiisha D.:
As a retail store manager, I’ve helped construct several windows. Right now, our holiday theme is “party,” with a major pop icon as our inspiration!


Thank you to all of the students who helped make our Union Square store shine so bright this holiday season—you guys rock!