A graduate of New York City’s Parson’s The New School for Design, Omar Khan is a visual merchandising guru whose attention grabbing retail installations has been known to stop shoppers on their tracks in Asia. At Hong Kong’s On Pedder/Joyce, where he was head of their visual designs department, he attached mechanical wires to a British flag to make it appear like its levitating, bedecked a giant heel with a series of lightbulbs and turned a series of quick action drawings of people into giant sculptures for a Loewe display. Khan has also outfitted the Christian Louboutin boutiques in Asia and has worked with Lane Crawford as well as famed Indonesian wedding designer Biyan’s entire brand concept. Now, he is launching his eponymous, multi-disciplinary creative firm, the Omar Khan Collective, this month.
What’s hot right now?
China. Azzedine Alaia cut-outs. Celine. The anticipation of Tom Ford’s upcoming womenswear collection. There is something so pitch perfect about Black Swan‘s aesthetic that makes me feel like it is a good representation of the times—dark and twisty with a touch of Rodarte.
What are the most important trends in visual merchandising?
I am seeing a lot of technology working its way into store presentation and visual merchandising, like LED screens artfully hidden in nooks and crannies. Augmented reality has really started to be used to showcase brand information within the store, giving depth to fashion exhibitions.
What elements must be in place to titillate a consumer?
A real, concise story. Consumers today are so smart and really appreciate thought and presentation. Designers spend so much time and passion in telling a story through the clothes and merchandise, that I feel it is important to reflect that in the store through the presentation of a beginning, middle and end.