Friday, August 19, 2011

Classes in London

Brown's Focus
So as a study abroad student, we do not just travel around, we still have to take classes as well!  We have a total for four courses, 2 for 5 weeks and 2 for the second 5 weeks which are both 8 hours a week.  Currently I'm in Professional Personal Selling class and Product Promotion and Trend Reporting.  Our Professional Personal Selling is a marketing course where we have learned a new perspective on some traditional marketing techniques as well an in-depth focus on presentation skills which I feel was very useful.  For Product Promotion and Trend Reporting, our professor took us on a retail tour of London, (which I wish we had sooner!)   The idea was not only to show us of all of the large and small shopping niches of London but look at the way products are sold in comparison at different levels and different genres of retailers.  We first went to Primark, basically for the budget- minded shopper, even lower than H&M or Forever 21.  However, the stores are so massive and crowded that you may never find what you wanted or even who you came with but that's the price that you have to pay for a cheap top.  Our goal there was to have an item in mind walking in the store such and find it in 10 minutes, no easy task.  Primark is located in a few locations but we were at the most busy, Oxford Street.  As I've mentioned before, Oxford Street is a big shopping area, where you can also find places like Selfridges.  Selfridges is a department store, first opened in 1858 and is still one of the major retails in London.  It was once just Selfridges and Liberty.  Selfridges showed examples of unconscious selling techniques such have a softer floor cushioning for certain designer's sections.  These retailers are easy to find out about, however, as a visitor.  The best part was going to the other areas of London that have less foot traffic but much more interest.  South Molton Street, off of Oxford and right next to Bond Street Station, seems like a quiet residential area but it actually has some fun shops tucked away.  This street is known for shoes and the Brown's stores.  Brown's Focus is a contemporary shop with brands such as Acne, Theory, and Pringle.  A lot of really fun and trendy pieces.

SHOP show stuidos
The next area we went to was New Bond Street, the true high end designers, which means fantastic store windows!  Right down a little street adjacent to the tiniest pub is SHOP studio.  This is by Nick Knight and showcases some of his work as a photographer a collection of pieces from fashion, pop culture, film and more.

Continuing back to Bruton Street is Maison Martin Margiela.  This is one of my professor's personal favorites and a tucked away secret to many.  Margiela has been faceless his entire career and no one has ever tried to reveal him.  You'll find a lot of unique items such as leather boots shaped like hooves.  He is known for his perfume that creates this transition of scent and becomes androgynous.  This is not necessarily where students would pick up a new outfit, (very high price tags), but an experience in itself.

One of my favorite places was Dover Street Market.  Don't be fooled, this isn't anything like Camden or Portobello Market.  Dover Street Market showcases contemporary designers between five floors.  Each floor isn't large like a department store would be, but creates various atmospheres.  They really choose some of the most unique designer pieces and showcase them all together in a cohesive display.  It is a little intimidating to touch a £4,000 dress but if you don't act like you deserve to be there, no one else will think so either!

I really enjoyed how our professors tried to incorporate trips outside of the classroom with our lessons.  They gave me some of the best learning experiences.  

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