From Dream to Reality: Carson’s Journey as a Visual Merchandiser at Victoria’s Secret

August 9, 2023

Securing a position within a world-renowned company stands as a shared aspiration among countless students. For Wong Kai Xiang, affectionately referred to as Carson, this aspiration became a reality when he secured an internship with Victoria’s Secret, a prominent entity under the esteemed Valiram fashion group. Pursuing a Bachelor’s in Fashion Management and Communication in collaboration with the University of Sheffield Hallam, UK, at INTI International College Subang, Carson recognised the golden opportunity at his fingertips and resolved to maximize its potential.

Carson (centre) proudly holds up his internship success letter from Victoria’s Secret representatives.

Throughout his four-month internship as a Visual Merchandiser (VM) at Victoria’s Secret KLCC branch, Carson’s artistic flair and imaginative prowess commanded the spotlight. He orchestrated captivating visual displays that bedecked the store, ranging from enticing window arrangements to strategically placed products. As a VM, Carson’s mission extended beyond mere presentation; it encompassed breathing life into the brand’s essence, ensuring that every corner of the store exuded elegance and allure.

Speaking of his role, Carson remarked, “The VM role empowers me to channel my talents through visual expression. It’s my responsibility to make the store visually appealing and aligned with the brand’s distinct identity. This means carefully planning product placements and the showcasing of the latest collections, trends, and promotions, all to ensure the store looks its absolute best.”

Carson skilfully preps on a sticker as part of his window display design.

However, Carson’s journey was not without its share of challenges. In his first month, he found himself struggling to keep up with the variety of products and collections which led him to doubt himself. Yet, rather than letting these obstacles deter him, Carson saw them as opportunities to grow.

“There exists an extensive array of products and collections, each necessitating a meticulously crafted visual design. Initially, I grappled with self-confidence as a VM. But I delved headfirst into the task by vigilantly tracking market trends, immersing myself in the latest market trends, staying up to date with fashion seasons, and studying competitor strategies to keep the displays fresh and enticing,” he added.

Drawing inspiration from his coursework, Carson unfurls his creativity to its fullest extent. His exposure to managing different brands and understanding their unique styles, personalities, and visuals gives him a competitive edge in his role. He realizes the significance of impactful visual design and marketing strategies in shaping a brand’s identity and value.

Carson and his colleagues pose with their Christmas gifts.

Carson underscores the paramount importance of ensuring an exceptional shopping experience for patrons within the store.

“It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating an unforgettable shopping experience for every customer who walks through our doors,” he said.

Recent times witnessed Carson achieve a remarkable milestone. He successfully passed the online preselection stage of the prestigious C-idea International Award 2023, booking him a spot in the next round of judging for the Visual Communication Category.

Reflecting on his participation under the “Repackaging” category, he recounted, “My focus was directed toward the repackaging vinyl records, as I have a profound love for vinyl records and have personally experienced the inconvenience of handling them and the risk of records falling while playing them. I sought inspiration from various instructors and explored different design concepts and prototypes.”

With an eagerness tinted with anticipation, Carson revealed, “Upon learning of my entry’s acceptance, I proceeded to submit a more comprehensive and well-defined array of materials for the second round. While I eagerly await the announcement of the ultimate victor, I am immensely proud to have been distinguished as a finalist in this competition.”

Carson’s vinyl record packaging that passed the preselection stage of the C-idea International Award 2023.

Throughout his awe-inspiring journey, Carson remains deeply appreciative of INTI and all those who contributed to his growth. Reflecting upon his educational voyage, he remarked, “INTI played a pivotal role in sculpting my skills and deepening my comprehension of brand management, spotlighting their individualistic styles, personas, visuals, and shopping encounters.”

To Carson, fashion and management entwine seamlessly, offering a wealth of avenues to usher change within the industry. He poignantly concluded, “The Fashion Management and Communication programme at INTI embodies this very sense of purpose and value.”

With unyielding determination and fervour, Carson undoubtedly stands poised to ascend to even greater heights within the realm of fashion and beyond.