Fifteen Fresno State fashion merchandising students went head-to-head in a competition this week to redesign River Park’s Top Drawer store.
The store, which sells the Vera Bradley line of brightly colored, quilted hand bags and other goods, shut down for two days while five teams of students redesigned it. For 72 hours, students used skills they learned in classes to create Mother’s Day displays, sometimes working until midnight.
The winners were sophomore Joyce Win and juniors Desiree Reyna and Odalys Ortiz.
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The trio designed a whimsical display – peppered with animal figurines – that grouped merchandise by activity, such as tote bags and flip flops for a trip to the beach.
Executives from Vera Bradley, Odina Surf and TJX Companies, parent company of T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls, spoke to more than 100 students and their families at the event. The executives judged the competition, along with several community members and people working in the retail industry, including The Fresno Bee’s retail reporter Bethany Clough. Nearly 500 people’s choice votes were also factored into the judging.
The winners each get a two-week internship at Vera Bradley, dinner at Campagnia, Vera Bradley merchandise and will partner with the store for a Valley Children’s Hospital fundraiser.