The Anatomy of a Department Store

DSCF2320Written by: Lindsay Profenno
LdM Art History & Summer Session student



DSCF2343.1One of the most insightful experiences I had with LdM was accompanying the Trend Forecasting class on their field excursion to three different fashion stores around Florence. Our class was going on this exercise to identify how these stores catered and drew in their main target costumers, and who exactly their main target consumers were. My last two trips with LdM centered heavily on the making of fashion and the garments themselves, and as the Trend Forecasting class made our way from store to store I was able to understand how these garments are actually sold to the public. An amazing amount of detail is put into opening a department and clothing store, and it is even more amazing the tiny details that can affect your mood and desire to buy, while in these places.


As we made our way through the different shops and department stores of Florence it became easier for me to pick out what made stores pleasing to my eye, thus bringing on the urge to buy and what turned me off of a certain set-up or store, quickly making me want to leave and find somewhere else to shop. Four main elements went into creating an eye catching and successful store: location, stocking products that fit into the store’s demographics, taking the clients lifestyle in account, and creating a store feeling that fit the client’s needs. I truly enjoyed this exercise as it gave me an insight into what it would be like to be a fashion buyer for a department store and also what I should concentrate on if I wanted to set up my own boutique.


DSCF2351.1It was a very informative day with the class and I was able to get a look at what it takes to sell fashion to people from all walks of life and economic situations. Even the smallest details must be paid attention to, in both making a garment and in displaying them, as one mistake can make costumers turn away and look for something else. With my class excursions through LdM I was able to see how garments are created, brought into the fashion market, and displayed for the buyer, all to become pieces of history.