Fifty Years of Luxury Retail Displays
We caught up with industrial designer Janny Dang over coffee in Mona Vale, to find out that Sydney retail display culture has a long tradition involving a single company, EV Young, supplying luxury fashion displays for over half a century ...
Janny, what year did EV Young go into business?
The company is celebrating its 50th year last year, so it started in 1961. Ernest Victor Young, who prefers to be known as Bill, started the company, his daughter Sue is directing it to this day. Bill still comes in every morning at 6am when he opens the factory! About 9.30am he goes off to do other things, even in his 80s he's still an entrpreneur!
Who were EV Young's first clients?
Nearly everyone in Sydney! He was the first point of sale pioneer in Australia, from there Sue Young expanded the business into window displays. Seiko watches, Citizen watches, Michael Hill Jewellers, Pulsar, Jag, those types of companies.
Over a 50-year period, what have been some of the biggest changes in style and materials??
Acrylic didn't even exist 50 years ago so what was used was wood and cardboard. But in the late 80s and early 90s Bill advanced into plastics and from all of that went into fitting out entire shops.
What are some of the most vital skills that a visual merchandiser needs to have?
Definitely an eye for detail and the ability to translate the client's brief into visual images.
Then as an industrial designer what role do you play in meeting the needs of visual merchandisers?
I make their visual concepts into something that can be constructed. I show them how everything will look like and be made from their concepts. So I guide the material choice and construction detailing of the designs.
What projects have you derived the most professional satisfaction from?
Ralph Lauren Polo window installations. Their windows are always a challenge!
If you were to describe the style direction of EV Young, what would it be?
I think it's more the abillity to manipulate any design concepts to fit with clients brand identity.
Are there immediate differences - in psychology, principle and layout - between window displays and in-store displays that tend not to be obvious to the layperson but which are always taken into account?
I don't think so. All the displays are made to be interactive and to catch the attention of consumers. We make all our displays to be been seen at 360 degrees to make the products stand out. A good display highlights the products. So either if it's in store or in a window if the attention is focused on the product, then we know we've done a good job.
What is EV Young's most crucial tool, or piece of equipment?
That would have to be our CNC router …
What does it do?
It's a magic machine it really revolutionised the way that things are produced. It creates the precision we require in our designs.
And UV glueing has allowed us to create objects where the glue lines and marks are simply not observable.
The other most crucial piece of equipment is our team. Our acrylic fabrications guru Glenn Ikin and our timber fabricator Paul Mahoney are the essential human talents which make our work come to life.
What are the things that your clients value most about your work?
Our dedication towards the final result.
We're always working towards perfection.
To find out more about EV Young's visual merchandising and window displays go to www.EVyoung.com.au