BEIJING — Fashion students at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University can now practice what it takes to run a real-world omnichannel store with the launch of a retail platform from the school, simply called “Store.”
The university’s Institute of Textiles and Clothing, which claims Vivienne Tam as one of its graduates, has made available the best of the designs from its thousands of students and some alumni at the shop. It also provides a training ground in which its fashion students can learn business skills — ranging from marketing, visual merchandising, customer relationship management, and all aspects of omnichannel retailing.
The physical store and web site — itc-store.com — was soft-launched in July, but just saw its grand opening last week. It carries around 30 brands spanning women and men’s wear, accessories and lifestyle items. Highlights include Knit Warm by Stanley Kwok, which features fabrics that heat up electrically, sculptural women’s apparel from Match Wong at @deMattitude, lingerie from Exquisite Intimates, and outdoor gear from Syzygy.
“Customers around the world can buy the product through the online platform, and we hope that will bring the local designers’ and Poly graduates’ work to the international market,” said Christina Wong, associate professor of fashion retail and marketing at Hong Kong Polytechnic.
“They will be involved in the marketing and social media and the formulation of the marketing strategy itself. We’re planning to have a competition to get students to form teams and run their own marketing strategies and test them out to see what’s working and what’s not.”
The launch of a real laboratory for its fashion students is smaller in scale, although akin to the university’s four-star Hotel Icon, a 262-room functioning hotel giving hospitality students a chance to gain industry experience.