Last week ASI’s President, Nancy Jackson, with National Account Executive, Shelley Ave, were in Miami, Florida on behalf of Architectural Systems as a proud nine-time returning Emerald Sponsors for the International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) sharing retail intel with top industry influencers.
From #DinnerAndDesign to discussing #CreativityAndCollaboration, the IRDC is still an outstanding platform to reconnect, develop, and ponder the future of brick and mortar.
A #DinnerAndDesign at Prime Fish: (from left to right): Daniel Montano (Creative Director, Little), Jamie Farnell (Creative Director, Little CA), Emma Belcher (Mace North America), ASI’s Shelley Ave (National Account Executive), Nicole Vachow Rehfuss (Senior Retail Visual Strategist, Little), Dave Kepron (Creative Director, Little), Nancy Jackson (ASI President), Peter Dixon (Senior Partner & Creative Director, Prophet) and Bruce Barteldt (Partner & Retail Global Practice Leader, Little)
Another great evening of #DinnerAndDesign was with the Callison team at Scarpetta in the Fontainebleau where everyone enjoyed the ocean view with who's who in retail design.
Materialista : What a week you had in Miami! What were the best take aways?
Nancy Jackson: Well, being in Miami is always nostalgic for me, having been visiting there since I was a little girl. And staying at the iconic Fontainebleau hotel, designed by the legendary architect, Morris Lapidus, was a great venue to host the IRDC.
The Keynote Speaker's presentations, both opening and closing, focused on how retailers must evolve to capture the customer in their stores and not just online! Of course, there was special attention brought to incorporating technology in the shops; the digital retail integration (DRI) provides that experiential novel component that will engage the shopper in stores and resonate with the customers to create brand loyalty.
The My.Suit store designed by Unspace.
I couldn’t help but mention, and say "hi" to my friend Karim, the My.Suit shops an award-winning project, which ASI supplied the porcelain flooring. This is a great concept where you go to a kiosk fixture in the store, have a body scan, select the menswear fabric of your choice (the big trend of now – personalized design i.e. Nike iD sneakers) and Voilà! - you have a beautiful custom-fitted suit for a fraction of the typical cost.
Karim thanked me for reminding the group of My.Suit, an excellent retail example that illustrates the "techno organic” seamless ambiance in the shop and then, fun fact, he mentioned he DJ’ed their newest store opening!
Nancy pictures with IRDC Opening Keynote Speaker, Karim Rashid (right) and IRDC Closing Keynote Speaker, Lee Patterson, the EVP of Brand, Strategy & Design at WP Partners (left).
Materialista: What stood out from the roundtable you moderated titled “Materials Trends, Strategies, and Cost Saving Ideas?”
Nancy: Having led the conversation on this topic for many years, I have to say we had the best discussion yet! Retailers must engage the shopper on all platforms to secure point-of-purchase in their store in the mall!
Charlotte Russe shared how they surpass their competition by paying special attention to the fitting rooms, where they house "selfie stations”. How's that for a terrific way to be part of your customer's social community? #CRFashionista
Pictured here blogger, and selfie queen, Arielle Nachmani of Something Navy.
And most importantly, the talk led to the importance of working with strategic material partners who are as committed to the success of the project as they are. More and more the design firms shared how frustrating it is when their design intent is compromised by the contractors not purchasing specified materials on time.
The rest of our group at the round table explained that's why they collaborate with ASI at the inception of the project and all through the rollouts! ASI protects the design, is sensitive to the budget, and tracks the projects to ensure stores open on time; this has become a differentiating value of ASI.
Materialista: I saw IRDC went downtown to the visually engaging Miami Design District. Had you been there before?
Nancy: No, I haven't and what an amazing field trip it was! Developed by the art and design enthusiast, Craig Robbins, there were 19 blocks of everything from local boutiques to world-renowened luxury retailers and famed graffiti art, which made me realize why Art Basel Miami holds their events there!
Here’s Callison’s Principal, Cindy Kato, in front of BAMBI ARTIST’s 2013 Art Basel street art piece.
With the buildup of very intense retail intel presentations heralding the precarious state for branded retail environments, the design district's Wynwood Walls was a great space to party, be inspired, and reconnect with why we are all involved in this ever evolving industry!
ASI’s President, Nancy Jackson, with ASI’s National Account Executive, Shelley Ave, in Miami’s Design District Sculpture Garden.
And later this month Architectural Systems will be heading to Savannah, Georgia as a sponsor for the design:retail Forum where Ron Jackson (ASI CEO) and Nancy Jackson (ASI President) will continue to celebrate retail influencers!