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HSE School of Design Students Decorate Hermès Storefront in GUM

A project by Zlata Sapko and Marina Aleksashina, third-year students of the programme in Fashion, won a competition organized by Hermès and the HSE School of Art and Design. The presentation of the project took place in GUM.

Every season, Hermès stores come up with new designs that can capture people’s imagination and distract them from everyday life. This time, the winners of the special design competition were given the opportunity to design a boutique storefront. The participants had to create a series of seven showcases, combining local aesthetics with the visual style of Hermès and the theme of 2018 year - ‘the game’.

The School of Art and Design and Hermès organized several meetings of contestants with brand representatives, who introduced the students to the history of showcases and the fashion house’s corporate style. The participants worked on their projects for three months.

The projects were assessed by Hermès international jury. Thomas Collette, General Director of Hermès Russia and CIS, noted the professional level of all the works in his welcoming speech at the project presentation.

Marina Aleksashina and Zlata Sapko impressed the jury with both the design concept and its implementation. The winners were inspired by Chet Van Duzer’s book ‘Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps’ and especially by the image of the hippocampus, the mythical half-fish-half-horse.

‘The horse is the symbol of Hermès, and this intersection was the starting point,’ says Zlata Sapko. ‘Hippocampus, marine life, the heroes of medieval nautical charts, were imagined by sailors. According to this logic, we found other creatures who also became characters in our showcases.’

‘The game’ theme was implemented by emphasizing the similarities between colourful old maps and modern board games. ‘By overcoming the obstacles in the form of ‘sea monsters,’ we go to the treasure — of course, this is something from the Hermès collection. At the same time, we tried to take into account a lot of nuances,’ says Marina Aleksashina.

Ekaterina Pavelko, curator of the project and head of the bachelor’s programme in Fashion, said that the students reached a new professional level during the competition. ‘The students definitely jumped above their heads to complete this project,’ she says.

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