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Striking a Pose: Visual Merchandiser

By Danny Freedman
Express
Thursday, February 10, 2005 5:37 PM

CHRISTIAN CHANTEMARGUE, 33

JOB: Visual merchandiser specializing in windows, at the H&M in downtown D.C.

SALARY RANGE: Average pay is about $25,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

WHAT HE DOES: Chantemargue is the master puppeteer behind H&Ms storefront window displays. Sure, in conservative D.C., he could lure passersby with "a cute little polo and little slacks," but that wouldnt be any fun. "It needs to be a little bit fashion forward -- thats what were selling." Next up: a "high summer" theme inspired by the colors of Brazil.

WOULD YOU WANT HIS JOB: Windows are redesigned every other week. It takes two days to pick out clothes and accessories for the mannequins, and another two to dress them and do their hair, sculpt them for "attitude" and install posters in the windows. "It is very detail-oriented  there should not be a wrinkle, there should not be a pin on the floor. It should be impeccable."

FOR MORE INFORMATION: : Visual Merchandising Trade Association at vmta.org and Fashion Windows at http://www.fashionwindows.com/.

This article orignally appeared in Express on May 10, 2004.

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