By  on February 2, 2010

A team from the Fashion Institute of Technology will participate in an international student competition at the 2010 World Retail Congress in Berlin to develop the best retail concept for the future.

Six other colleges from around the world will also compete in the Retail Futures Challenge, April 21 to 23.

The FIT team consists offashion merchandising management majors Melanie Guardino, Ashly Juskus and Kimberly Karseboom, and advertising and marketing communications major Samuel Bauer. With their ‘Transit’ retail concept, they beat out other FIT teams who were challenged to develop and design a store format that best evokes New York City lifestyle, which qualified them for the WRC challenge. Transit was envisioned for Manhattan’s AOL Time Warner Building, among other locations, as a store where consumers “invent themselves” and shop versatile outfits and styles that can be worn from the workplace to the weekend and from day to night.

Transit was selected as FIT’s winning concept during a chief executive officer breakfast last month. The judges were Joseph R. Gromek of The Warnaco Group Inc.; Gilbert Harrison of Financo Inc.; Abbey Doneger of The Doneger Group; Laura Pomerantz of PBS Real Estate; Betsy McLaughlin of Hot Topic Inc., and John Maxwell at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which sponsored the event with Karabus Management. They selected the winner based on creativity, the viability of the concept and presentation skills.

Warnaco is sponsoring the FIT team’s trip to the retail congress, which brings together retail leaders and policy makers. For the April competition, FIT students must devise another lifestyle store inspired by New York City, with brand identity and the potential for profits.

The other competing schools are: London’s Fashion Retail Academy; Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Rikkyo University in Tokyo; Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the University Institute for Modern Languages in Milan, and the Welingkar Institute of Management in Mumbai.

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