February 27, 2011

With my class at Academy of Art University in full swing now, I wanted you, the reader, to know everything that goes on and what we do each Saturday. Every pre-college class is based around a final presentation at the end of the 9 week course. For fashion merchandising, our class (as a whole) had to create a concept store. We needed to decide what type of merchandise we would be selling, who our customer would be, how we would market our store, etc. At the beginning of this week’s class, each of us presented an inspiration collage of what type of store we wanted to create. Some wanted a modern sophisticated look, while others wanted something more edgy or rocker, and yet others wanted something eco and earthy. Our ideas were everywhere, but after more than an hour of brainstorming, it became apparent that all of us favored a casual urban feel. From there we had to choose if we wanted to create not only a store but a social community. This would involve hosting events and creating an online social platform. Clarissa, our instructor, informed us that shopping is becoming something of a social event these days, especially with so many online shopping communities where shoppers can collaborate online. We decided our store needed to be one of the future, so we resolved to create a social community as well as an actual shopping house. But how were we going to separate ourselves from the masses? What would make people want to talk about us? We thought of having a different celebrity design our display window each month, but celebrity endorsement seemed too commonplace these days. Then we imagined a store that hosted various musical performances each night, but seeing as every one of us had completely different music tastes, we realized we would never agree to book anyone. As ideas flew swiftly around the room, one finally struck us with intense interest. One student brought up a Japanese designer, Bape, who randomly changes his stores locations so to make a game out of discovering his shop. We were intrigued by the idea. We wanted to create something similar, a store that traveled, almost a store on wheels. And there it was. Our store was going to be on a bus that traveled across the country.
             With an hour left of class, there was one final thing to achieve. We needed to name our store, but oh what a challenge that would prove to be. We wanted something catchy, clever, unique, and that would appeal to both males and females. During the next 55 minutes we made list upon list of names on the whiteboard, only to cross every one of them out. With 5 minutes of class left, we needed to make a decision so Clarissa announced that we ought to just call it The Bus. An hour of brainstorming and we were all about to agree on The Bus. But then someone suggested we add a number or adjective and the whiteboard was filled with: The Green Bus! Bus USA! Bus 8! Bus 66! Bus 50! Wait, stop. Bus 50? Because of the 50 US states our bus would travel to? Hmmm, but how are we going to get to Hawaii, and who wants to go to Alaska anyways? Bus 48. Yes! That’s it! And as the clock struck we had created the next great shopping craze… or so we wish to believe.

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