Top finishers will receive a mentorship with the Saks window team

Six LIM College students will participate in the DDI Student Window Challenge, a design competition presented in cooperation with Saks Fifth Avenue. The daylong event, which will be held on June 6 directly inside Saks Fifth Avenue’s 49th Street windows at the flagship store in Manhattan, will give Visual Merchandising students from LIM College and the Fashion Institute of Technology a highly visible platform to show off their skills and creativity. At stake is an opportunity for the competition’s top finishers to gain even more firsthand experience through a mentorship with the Saks window team.

The challenge will culminate with the After Party and awards presentation at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Café SFA. Industry executives will also attend the party, giving the students a chance to mingle with prominent retailers and visual merchandisers. The students’ displays will then remain in Saks Fifth Avenue’s windows for approximately one week.

The LIM College Visual Merchandising students who will participate in the DDI Student Window Challenge are Erin Mino, Erin Meade, Sarah Montgomery, Bianca Bartolo, Jenna Brandt, and Vinessa Soluri. Meghan McDermott and Morgan Walsh have been selected as alternates.

During the competition, the students will be given a design challenge centered on a specific theme, which will only be revealed that morning. Two-person teams will create window presentations using provided materials, merchandise from Saks and their own artistic ingenuity. At the end of the day, a judging panel consisting of Saks’ visual team and DDI editors will determine the winning team.

Teams will work independently, but will gain professional insight from Saks visual directors, who will circulate among participants to provide advice and guidance. The students will not know what materials they have to work with until they arrive that day.

The first place winners will receive Saks gift cards, as well as a day-long mentorship with the Saks window team, where the two winning students will be able to follow, watch and assist the window team with an installation.

Challenge participants will also gain exposure for their work in print and online. Photos of the challenge and final designs will be featured in the August 2013 issue of DDI Magazine and online at

DDI Magazine focuses on store design, visual merchandising, architecture, marketing and branding, with a readership of high-level, in-house retail and contract design professionals. Store planners, visual merchandisers, store designers, independent architects, contract designers and consumer products manufacturers working with high-volume retail chains depend on coverage in DDI for cutting-edge trends, strategies and product applications for store design.