The Man on the Street


The Azeeza store window in Chicago.

As a visual merchandiser and window display artist, July in Chicago has become one of my most favorite times of year. This is when Project Windows, a visual design competition celebrating the art of window display in downtown Chicago, comes to life. From luxury retailers, like Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Marc Jacobs, to big-box brands (think AT&T’s Michigan Avenue Flagship and Macy’s State Street) to the beloved independent and local retailers scattered in between, this contest celebrates all types of window displays and the unique programs each individual store maintains.

In our fourth year of Project Windows, the Art Institute of Chicago approached us looking for a way to get their message to “the man on the street.” For a world-renowned cultural institution such as the Art Institute of Chicago, we were really struck by the idea of “hearing, seeing and doing,” which is a large part of the fabric that makes up tourism marketing for a museum like this. Continue reading →

Pet Pop-Up

_FFS8473Once a novel idea for humans, pop-ups are no longer solely relegated to the two-legged domain. Phoenix-based PetSmart Inc. recently partnered with the City of Detroit and the non-profit community organization Detroit Dog Park to install a portable, pop-up dog park in a vacant city lot. PetSmart P.U.P.’s Detroit Dog Park is the city’s first official dog park, providing more than 10,000 sq. ft. of space for pets and their owners to play.

PetSmart’s P.U.P. is a shipping container that is equipped with everything needed to create a temporary dog park, including 340 ft. of fencing, three moveable benches, three Oops Clean-Up Stations, a storage closet, and interior lighting powered by solar panels atop the container. Continue reading →

Retail Jokers

Self-Destruct-Button.jpgRetail jokers are at it again. This time, it was a new e-commerce retail idea that snatches a page from the Snapchat playbook: an online pop-up store that self-destructs exactly 14 days after launching. Even the press release, which came out April 1, was set to self-destruct on April 2. Sound zany enough for you? That’s because it was an April Fool’s prank!

The jokers at Bigcommerce announced their fake concept: “Popcommerce, the new platform offers the same beauty and brains that every Bigcommerce store has, and can be set up in minutes.” The release continued, “Each online pop-up store powered by Bigcommerce will self destruct exactly 14 days after launching. Continue reading →

Pot Retailing and All That ZaZZZ

BlNtJnbCcAAa1fLGet ready to deal with it. This post is about marijuana retailing in Colorado.

The Centennial state welcomed its first marijuana vending machine last week, although it’s not actually operational…yet. Made by American Green, this vending machine has been dubbed “ZaZZZ. ” Resembling a standard vending machine with rows of product, ZaZZZ is currently on display at Montana’s Smokehouse restaurant in Avon, Colo. Insiders say it will be stocked with pot-infused edibles, such as brownies from Colorado-based Herbal Elements, a medical marijuana purveyor. American Green plans to place the machine in a medical marijuana dispensary in Eagle-Vail, Colo., a residential community of about 1,400 homes. Continue reading →

One Giant Step for Mankind

PARLUX LTD. KENNETH COLE MANKIND FRAGRANCEThe corporate culture at Kenneth Cole Productions, the New York-based footwear and apparel brand, is known for its heart and “sole.” Since designer Kenneth Cole made waves back in the ‘80s for sincere, yet clever campaigns—particularly for AIDS research and awareness—the company continues its tongue-in-cheek brand voice. Recently, its website featured this season’s must have: “Spring is here … make the vest of it.”

Now, Cole is on the forefront yet again with its new Google Glass app that set tongues wagging and eyes widening for “Mankind.” It’s a fitting match up for the wearable technology, according to industry watchers, and Cole’s targeted demo. Continue reading →