Head of Visual Merchandising – Paul Michael Chambers
Paul Michael Chambers
Global Visual Merchandising Director
Time with the company:
What is your morning routine?
I’m an early riser; 5am, I like to start the day off well prepared, which starts with coffee!
I then run 6/10K a day, 6 days a week, it clears my head and is a great meditative hour for me.
How did you get the job / how did you become involved with the industry?
I studied at CDT part of Central St Martins School of Art. I started working at 19 years of age at Miss Selfridge as a mobile VM or ‘Window Dresser’ as it was called back then.
I was hooked on visual presentation, thereafter; I joined Selfridges a few months later & worked my socks off to finally leave Selfridges as Head of Creative Direction Marketing 10 years later driving all the creative concepts across the Selfridges portfolio including new store launches such as both Manchester stores and the visually iconic Birmingham location.
What is your main responsibility?
In Summery I’m a Global Creative and Operational Head with in-depth knowledge & experience driving global visual brand strategy via highly effective windows & digitally aligned in-store visual presentations across luxury and high street brands.
I’m adept at all phases of brand presentations; from conception to supplier management & project installation whilst offering commercial global VM strategies for each business function to support defined financial targeted requirements.
I aim to offer world-class vision & creative solutions for brands. Working with external agency & or in-house functions; brand, retail, merchandising, buying, marketing & digital in a global environment.
I have a passion for creating VM styling and supporting brand identify an individual handwriting across all business categories.
I have exceptional mannequin knowledge from bespoke mannequin design to expert styling strategies.
Leading brands towards achieving highly effective visual strategies resulting in a world-class, seamless 360 customer-journey.
What is your typical day like?
Post run & more coffee, my typical day will consist of –
Loop in with trending social media and global news.
Check the weekly schedule and daily meetings. Thereafter the days vary Depending on the projects if freelance or at a Head office function.
Working with-in a brand the days are mainly full of back to back meetings, cross-functional information exchange and or pitching new concepts. There is also (or was Pre Covid) a vast amount of travel more so when I was Global Head of Hugo Boss Visual Merchandising, with over 2000 doors, managing consistency was a continuous focus.
What’s the best part of your job?
Creating visually exciting customer experiences either with a Pop-Up or a Window concept. I love when concepts are fully rounded i.e. from digital to bricks & mortar. I have a background more focused on visual marketing more so than pure Visual Merchandising I therefore lean towards holistic creative roles and parts of the job.
What’s the worst part of your job?
What’s your most memorable work moment?
I have a very varied career from visual marketing to styling and Art Directing – here are a few I’m lucky to say –working with the Barbican London & Warhol Foundation in US creating a unique Andy Warhol Hologram, the first ever permitted.
Designing a bespoke Mannequin range that was globally rolled out a few years ago for Hugo Boss. As a fashion stylist, styling the host of the Brit Awards with 7 full outfit/hair & makeup changes each completed within 3 minutes. & Finally Art Director for Reiss Seasonal Advertisement Campaigns 4 seasons in a row.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in the same profession?
Basic but it worked for me- Work hard!!!
Get in early, leave late and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as they are an integral part of improvement.
Surround yourself with like-minded people and finally, AIM HIGH.