By Lauren Fromin
When greeted by music drifting into the street of Borgo Pinti and baci di dama cookies handed out at the entrance, customers at FLY knew they were in for a treat. October 7th was a night of success for the FAST (Fashion & Accessories Studies & Technology) students tasked with planning and hosting FLY's semesterly sales event. The event was appropriately called "Fall Kiss," referencing the greeting of the changing season. The evening offered light snacks, amazing discounts and the opportunity for students to put their education into practice. Clothing and accessories from emerging designers were available from Tie Me Up Couture, Eva di Franco, Twist, Build Your Bag (B.Y.B), Dopodomani, and Nokike. There were options for anyone from anywhere to take home and cherish.
Students of the Fashion Retail Management class, offered at FAST, were in charge of the planning, promotion and management of the event. While other students from the Visual Merchandising and Display class took care of the overall look of the FLY store, from the layout of clothing, styling of the mannequins, and visual displays. Instructors Sandra Nannini and Gaia Poli were on hand to coordinate and assess the students' work.
Florence University of the Arts takes great pride in offering real life experiences for students enrolled in many of their programs. For the students of FAST, FLY acts as the professional outlet for students to practice the theory they learn in their lessons. The Fall Kiss event provided students with the ability to plan an event open to the public, brainstorm and decide on final promotional material, create social media campaigns, design the visual displays featured at the event, practice sales tactics with customers interested in buying clothing, as well as track and organize inventory pre and post event. In terms of sales, the event succeeded beyond expectations and it is all thanks to the creativity and hard work of the students on hand.
Treviana Walker, a student enrolled in both courses, touches on how the experience benefitted her professionally. “Wow, the overall experience benefited me greatly professionally because I was a part of a sales team and had a hand in creating the window display and atmosphere of the store, as well as was an active part of the event. Me and my Visual Merchandise group met several times at FLY to prep for the display and decorations. I was personally in charge of the window, which was an important and challenging aspect to convey an effective sales message for success. With my Retail Management class I was in charge of the preparation for the event, how to plan it, merchandise it and promote it. I also was in charge of handing out the baci di dama and of the sales and in store promotion. All of these lessons, I feel, will benefit my performance professionally in the future."