Daria Rodionova with her winning 'Fashion Fridges' designs at Retail Design Expo 2016

Last Thursday, 10 March, UAL students Kelly Wong, London College of Fashion, and Daria Rodionova, Chelsea College of Arts, won two of the first ever student awards for their visual merchandising designs at the Retail Design Expo 2016.

Working with Liberty of London and Oasis, UAL students were challenged to create a pop-up space, personalising it for their particular store. UAL students and first-ever winners of the new VM Student Award (and prizes of paid work placements at Liberty and Oasis), give us the inside story on working with some of the biggest retailers in the UK…

Kelly Wong, London College of Fashion, being interviewed about winning the VM Student Award at Retail Design Expo 2016

Kelly Wong, London College of Fashion, being interviewed about winning the VM Student Award at Retail Design Expo 2016

Kelly Wong (pictured above) from UAL’s London College of Fashion wowed the creative team at Liberty of London, the world-renowned luxury UK retailer formed in 1875, and which Oscar Wilde once described as “the chosen resort of the artistic shopper”.

Oasis, one of the top UK high street retailers, worked with Chelsea College of Arts, challenging students to expand their design horizons. Winning another of the inaugural VM Student Awards, Daria Rodionova (pictured below), originally from Moscow, tells us what it was like to work on this exciting project and studying at UAL:

Daria Rodionova with her winning 'Fashion Fridges' designs at Retail Design Expo 2016

Daria Rodionova with her winning ‘Fashion Fridges’ designs at Retail Design Expo 2016

“My idea was to create «Fashion Fridges», which would be used instead of ordinary changing rooms and clothes hangers. I wanted them to become a symbol of Oasis that would represent the main principles of a brand: contemporary, stylish and fun.

I am very proud of my work; it combines contemporary design and classical elements of decor and it is made from easily accessible materials. I hope that it is the first step in my career, which will give me experience and knowledge about the industry I work in. 

While living in Moscow, I knew I wanted to study abroad. I chose UAL because it is one of the leading universities in the world of design and it provides its students with many opportunities to collaborate with the biggest design retailers. 

I am very happy that I have won the competition with my project and now I have an opportunity to work with the Oasis brand in summer.” Daria Rodionova, Chelsea College of Arts

A total of twenty UAL students worked with these renowned brands, including Young Soo Bae, Chelsea College of Arts (pictured below) who received a highly commended award.

Yung Soo Bae at the Retail Design Expo 2016 with her designs which were highly commended at the VM Student Awards

Young Soo Bae at the Retail Design Expo 2016 with her designs which were highly commended at the VM Student Awards

Here’s what other UAL students had to say about this amazing opportunity:

“It was a great experience to practice, experiment and analyse abilities and ideas…”

Rana Bashirova, Chelsea College of Arts

“I very much enjoyed working for Oasis and tried to bring something to this passionate brand. I felt like my work was constantly being reinvented and pushed beyond my own boundaries.”

Alberto Segato, Chelsea College of Arts

“Working for Oasis has been an extremely challenging and interesting experience. It has been an incredible and also rewarding experience and I have learnt to question myself and my ideas to create something different for this brand.”

Martina Bergamo, Chelsea College of Arts

London College of Fashion students shortlisted for the VM Student Awards

London College of Fashion students shortlisted for the VM Student Awards