Meet the Team That's Got Your Back(side): Visual Merchandiser, Melissa Caminiti

by Gap Inc.

Old Navy

August 8, 2022

Old Navy recently announced our new Denim Fit Experience; a truly omni initiative focused on simplifying shopping for jeans, providing shoppers with both ease and confidence, while showcasing Old Navy’s incredible denim offering. The experience includes a new eCommerce landing page—the Denim Fit Guide—that breaks down Old Navy’s jean fits and extends in-store, creating a cohesive customer journey that makes finding the right jeans a lot less stressful.  

Inside, it’s been an all-hands effort to bring the Denim Fit Experience to life. We sat down with some of our incredible team members who have been a part of the journey to learn more about their involvement. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share their stories on the project, their experience, and most importantly, what it’s like to work at Old Navy! Introducing Team Got Your Back(side), with Melissa Caminiti from our Old Navy Visual Merchandising team up first!  

Please introduce yourself! 

Hi! My name is Melissa Caminiti. I’m a Senior Director on the Adult Visual Merchandising Team and the Visual Merchandising Styling Team and I’ve been with Old Navy for almost eight years.  

What’s a typical workday like for you? What are your biggest initiatives or projects? 

Our teams work very closely with product, creating displays, new shopping experiences and amazing mannequin looks. There is a lot of collaboration, and we work with everyone from the Creative Concept Team and Online Styling Team to the Design and Merchandising teams.  

My team and I strategically map and plan product lines for many seasons at a time. One of the last and most important parts of this planning is the creation of our Style Guide, which informs how our stores show up for customers. I love how fun and engaging it is to bring the Style Guide to life. A few weeks before product arrives to stores, we set up our studio space and dress mannequins with real samples, as well as merchandise a digital twin (which is essentially a digital version of real, physical experience) that then becomes the Style Guide for store teams to use. This guide is used across all stores and is a visual representation of our brand’s strategies and how we want the customer to experience our product mix for each collection. Once the new collection arrives and is set, we get out and see stores, gather feedback and work with the Field Visual Team to understand what’s working and where we have room for improvement to incorporate in our next guide.

What makes or breaks a good product display?   

A good product display helps our customers quickly find what they need while also sparking outfitting inspiration. We strive to strike the balance between effortless looks and displays, punctuated by a few vignettes that are more fashion forward to create excitement. 

Storytelling through product seems like it requires a lot of innovation and creativity. What’s been the most exciting thing about bringing Old Navy’s new Denim Fit Experience to life?  

For me, the most exciting thing about the new denim experience was the months of testing and learning directly from both our customers and store teams, which ultimately helped shape the design of the final assortment and the overall visual merchandising plan. We learned about the pain points customers experience when trying to navigate fits, so we tested many different solutions before finalizing our design.

   

How do you think this new experience will change the customer denim journey at Old Navy?   

I love the simplicity and clarity the new experience will provide to Old Navy’s store teams and customers. The new denim menu in store is how customers can check out all of our fits in one place and is presented in a way that’s easy to take in. If you already know what fit you’re looking for, it will be clear where to find it thanks to mannequins and the incredible, new marketing. Overall, the visuals and marketing are designed to work together, making navigation quick and easy, and ultimately enabling our store teams to provide the best service possible. 

What is your go-to denim bottom at Old Navy?   

I LOVE the Sky–Hi denim. The way it fits on top is seriously just perfect. I need to get the new Wide Leg version! 

How do you stay inspired?   

I stay inspired by being around fellow creatives. I love our Create with Audacity initiative at Gap Inc., which provides space to hear from industry experts on where the world is going, what trends are emerging and how to stay inspired. And getting out to see what other retailers are doing is a must! From the tiniest specialty store to the biggest of box stores, each place has something to offer that will spark new ideas.  

I also draw so much inspiration from simply walking down the street and observing personal style, especially in a city I’m not often in. People are so amazing and unique, and I love seeing someone who has thoughtfully added little touches to their look with accessories or through beautiful color combinations.  

Another important factor is taking space to NOT produce or do anything. We live in a fast-paced, attention-grabbing era with much to balance, and it’s important to take good care of yourself in a way that’s just for you and no one else. For me, this is volunteering at the Marine Mammal Center, and walks or runs in nature with no music or inputs.

What’s it like to work for Old Navy? 

I’ll keep this short and sweet – working for Old Navy is fast paced, engaging, and rewarding. There is a spirit of problem solving and agility in all we do together in service to our customers. We love it here!  

Well said, Melissa. Delivering dream denim is just the start! Like what you see? Join our team of bold, creative trailblazers as we build one of the world’s largest apparel brands, committed to the democracy of service and style for all. 

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