We caught up with Myer visual merchandiser Sally Liddington-Cox to talk shop
Visual merchandising is an art form, science and essential element to retail success. When it comes to brands such as Christopher Vine the importance of visual merchandising is as crucial as quality in product. The aesthetic of a brand needs to be communicated in a way that engages and motivates the end user to make a decision in silence. We caught up with Sally to find out about her and the inspirations behind her work at Myer Melbourne.
Marigold collection at Myer Melbourne for Chinese New Year styled by Sally.
How did you first decide to become a visual merchandiser?
Visual merchandising was a natural progression for me after finishing year 12. I studied art, photography and visual communication and knew that I wanted to continue to develop my creative skills. In year 10 I visited the RMIT installations and was totally hooked! The creativity applied to bring the displays to life was entrancing, I received a first round offer from RMIT after year 12 and so it began!
How would you describe your personal style?
I'd say my style is a mix of modern, minimal, monochrome, asymmetric, with an occasional hint of quirk. I tend to gravitate towards black, grey, white, blue and enjoy a splash of texture and timber in the home. Being Melburnian and working with Myer I have a close and interesting relationship with the shade black. It's classic, sleek and can make any piece within fashion and home pop! If you check out my Instagram @sallington it reflects my style pretty closely.
Do you style your home often?
I do enjoy a good restyle! I can't help it. Working in styling and visual merchandising means being exposed to the latest trends both in Australia and overseas. I love fresh interpretation and being able to bring new colours, texture, shades and patterns into the space I live in. I also love seeking out new spaces to style.
Where do you find inspiration?
My muse is Megan Morton, she is an amazing Australian icon and generous soul. I am in awe of her unique way of viewing the styling world. I study her books, Instagram and blog and have also been fortunate enough to experience her styling courses in person. My working environment at Myer is very inspiring. I am lucky enough to work with amazing brands and it's always exciting when new collections are released. It gets the creative juices going!
If you could style one window in the world which would it be?
The windows of Harrods or Liberty in London. On a trip in 2012 I fell in love with the Harrods Golden Jubilee High Tea celebration themed window. So much detail, time, love and creative effort went into them, I was in awe! Liberty is equally as inspiring, Ed Burstell is a creative visionary and it would be a honour to work for him.
What is your favourite room to style?
There are two rooms that I adore - A beautiful bedroom and a welcoming dining space. Bedrooms can be transformed so easily with small changes like adding a new doona cover, cushions, lighting, rug or artwork. I also enjoy creating a beautiful dining experience. I like it to feel inspiring and inviting. It's always interesting to watch how people interact within the space and bringing their own personal touch.
What makes a great VM display?
A great VM display connects with someone on a personal level. It needs a focal point or as we call it, a 'hero'. This is the purpose to the piece, your hero should always shine. I love displays with a dramatic statement that grabs your attention, like great propping or a display with dramatic height or depth.
What has been your career highlight so far?
I have been fortunate enough to work in the beautiful flagship store Myer Melbourne over the last 6 years. So much excitement comes flooding through our Bourke Street doors! One of my most memorable highlights was creating a chicken coop display in Childrenswear for an Autumn/Winter campaign. We constructed a coop made out of wood. I combined real eggs and hay with cardboard chickens. I decided to add a sense of fun to the piece and hid speakers within the display to play chicken sound effects. As you can imagine all the kids had a ball with it.
Top tips for people wanting to style their home?
Start with your hero piece within a room and go from there. No matter what your personal style is I find a lot of the time less really is more. When you pull back on pieces it gives the other ones left more room to breathe and shine. Give it 'space to see the stars' as Megan Morton says.