Jia Cai


Fashion luxury brands have taken longer than other retail segments to understand and adapt to consumer behavior changes created by the digital revolution over the past decade. Digital and social media has created a fundamental shift in consumers expectations of their shopping experiences.

The big debate in the luxury fashion industry has been whether the integration of ‘off-line’ and ‘on-line’ actually creates value or reduces the exclusivity associated with the brands. In the past, luxury brands have relied on traditional marketing channels such as print and direct mail to engage their high-value customers. Additionally, the industry has placed an enormous focus on the in-store experience as an opportunity to differentiate through enhanced service, ambiance, and customization.

Data, however, shows that there really is no debating the benefits of going on-line any longer. The impact on performance by digital is clear, for brands that have chosen to invest in enhancing their shopping experience using digital and/or social media channels and platforms. It is not one versus the other. Instead, the two mediums need to come together to create a relevant customer journey.

The challenge is that there is not a simple repeatable roadmap to succeeding in the digital landscape. Brands need to invest in testing, adapting, and finally innovating their on-line offering to win a share of consumers’ minds.

This thesis explored the role that visual identity design plays in social media – the most heavily leveraged platform by luxury fashion brands to create their on-line experience. The thesis ideates and iterates on opportunities through design to create a seamless browse-to-purchase experience for luxury customers. The specific experiments conducted were through the lens of a fashion re-seller called ‘TELLER BLANC’.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Industrial design coordination; Branding (Marketing); Fashion merchandising

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Visual Communication Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Nancy Ciolek

Advisor/Committee Member

Carol Fillip

Advisor/Committee Member

Stephen Scherer


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes