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2024 Designer Dozen: Minju An

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2024 Designer Dozen: Minju An
Minju An
Visual Manager, Saks Fifth Avenue
Age: 28

Favorite Color: Pastel Tone
Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Hanging out with friends

WHY MINJU?

After graduating from Sheridan College’s (Toronto) Visual Merchandising Arts Program, Minju was offered a visual associate job at Saks Fifth Avenue in Toronto and was quickly promoted to Visual Manager. Coming to college in Canada as an international student from South Korea and having English as her second language did not slow down Minju, who exceeded expectations in both classroom and community projects, according to her nominator. Volunteering her time as a guest speaker to share her personal and professional journey, specifically with other design/VM students, she has been a mentor for many young visual merchandisers entering the industry.

2024 Designer Dozen: Minju An 📷 Minju An, Toronto

Describe your background.

Studying industrial design in college sparked my interest in the design industry. With experience as an intern and 3-D modeler, I found a passion for space design. Through pursuing visual merchandising in Canada, I broadened my perspective. Now working in the field, I love the process and take pride in my work’s results.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It’s the process of creating something out of nothing.

What’s the biggest challenge you have faced professionally?

Display design is an art, so there’s no one right answer. Each installation is like crafting a masterpiece with the goal of catching customers’ eyes and getting them curious enough to check out the store. It’s all about finding that perfect balance, and that’s where the challenge comes in.

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What experience or specific interest has shaped you as a designer?

Studying design in both Korea and Canada was where my journey as a designer began. When I realized that design is needed in pretty much every field, my passion for it grew stronger. Reflecting this passion, I continuously endeavor to improve myself, seeking inspiration from various fields and everything around me. This includes endless research into different design concepts on platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and more. That’s why I’m here today, referring to myself as a visual merchandiser or also possibly as a space designer.

Describe some of your outside-of-work initiatives.

I had the opportunity to be invited as a mentor to share my experiences with students enrolled in the VMA program at Sheridan, the school from which I graduated. I delivered lectures in 2021 and 2022, knowing that students still lack information and experience in the retail field. I shared the path I walked after graduation and the efforts I made to enter this field. Afterward, some students requested me to be their mentor for their school projects, and I gladly accepted the role.

My dream project is…

…participating with Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York team for the holiday display.

If I had a completely unlimited budget for a project, I would…

…purchase as many props as possible, rent a huge space and hold an exhibition for my own project.

My favorite thing to do when I leave the office is…

…spend time finding design inspiration through social media.

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Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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