Stacy Suvino, visual and creative director for Miss Jackson's, is turning heads in Tulsa and New York City with her eye for detail and fashion.
Tulsans aren’t the only window shoppers who gaze in wonderment at Miss Jackson’s upscale, imaginative and always entertaining window displays. New York City and the retail industry take notice, too.
Stacy Suvino, visual and creative director for Miss Jackson’s and a mastermind behind the store’s fantastical displays, recently visited New York City, where she was one of three finalists up for the Planning and Visual Education Partnership’s (PAVE) Rising Star Award. The award, presented by leaders in the retail industry, recognizes the achievements of young professionals who have demonstrated talent, vision and implementation in the retail environment.
Suvino and her fellow nominees, including winner Travis Burnham of J. Crew, received an engraved crystal star from Tiffany & Co., as well as industry bragging rights. Here, Suvino shares how she demonstrates her eye for intricate detail and fashion through Miss Jackson’s windows.
Where are you originally from? Fayetteville, Ark.
Where did you attend college? University of Arkansas and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
What was your major? Visual presentation and exhibition design.
Why did you decide to go into visual presentation? It’s such a diverse field with so many options. It’s a way to incorporate my love for design, fashion and art.
What was your first internship/job in terms of visual presentation? Where did you work prior to joining Miss Jackson’s? My first job in visual was at Abercrombie and Fitch and my first internship was at Bergdorf Goodman. I was then offered a job in the visual department at Bergdorf Goodman when I graduated.
What did you learn about visual presentations while working at Bergdorf Goodman? In the visual department I learned about details, how to source, use of tools, how to style, how to strike a mannequin, how to construct different kinds of props, how to make things with paper, how to print vinyl lettering, how to merchandise, how to rig, how to put a complete story together and how to have an editing eye.
When did you join Miss Jackson’s? July 2008.
Why do you like creating displays for Miss Jackson’s? I like presenting the beautiful merchandise we carry in a beautiful and interesting way. Also, the store is turning 100 this year and we are creating interesting window and interior installations to help create the image of Miss Jackson’s for the years to come.
What are your design influences and inspirations? I had a lot of influence at Bergdorf, which I think shows here — lots of details and sometimes a humor factor. I love the work of Vogue photographer Tim Walker. Sometimes I base a window design from one of his photographs. I’m also inspired by art, fashion and sometimes something I see on the street.
Who are your favorite fashion designers, and which designers do you often feature in your windows? Alber Elbaz (Lanvin), Kate and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte), Isabel Toledo and Zac Posen. The windows feature a lot of Ports 1961, Basix, Alice + Olivia, Notte by Marchesa, Betsey Johnson and St. John.
How do you start the design process? By coming up with a concept and then the process of sourcing for all of the elements to help make the fantasy come to life.
How far in advance do you work? This year’s holiday windows were planned a year ago. The structures for the windows were already being built in March.
How long does it usually take to design a window display? It depends. Based on the complexity of the concept, it can take a few weeks or several months to design. There were some small design changes happening with the holiday windows up until the day they were revealed.
What are a few of your favorite holiday windows? It’s hard to choose my favorite holiday windows! I loved the “Tall Alice” window from Miss Jackson’s last year. It was so simple yet impactful. There was a mannequin towering over a tiny dining set with a tiny chandelier hanging over it. The scale was hilarious! I really love the “Performers” window from this year at our store. The mix of glamorous garments and accessories with simple wooden ladders, rope and light is a nice contrast and has an editorial feel.
I have two favorite windows at Bergdorf. One is from holiday 2007 when we did a series of windows devoted to the decorator Tony Duquette. Out of that series, I loved the window “Water.” It was built entirely out of shells. It took months in a warehouse to construct. It was amazing! I also loved one of the windows last year from the Calendar Girls series. My favorite was “Winter.” Everything was white and was so decadent. The window was filled with lots of white cakes, ornate white walls, trims and white monkeys.
What is your favorite display you’ve created? It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I think it would have to be the windows where random objects were covered in bubble wrap (featured in the summer 2009 display at Miss Jackson’s).
How do you choose the retail that goes into the displays? How many displays do you usually design a year? Sometimes we choose garments from a particular vendor when there is a trunk show to promote. Other times, we may choose a garment that fits in with the style of the display.
What are your favorite places to go in Tulsa? I love going to Cain’s Ballroom and Charles Faudree, T.A. Lorton.
What can we expect to see for Miss Jackson’s 100th anniversary? Great windows, amazing fashion and a great celebration!