From Miami to New York City, the mannequins will give shoppers a better idea of what the piece of clothing will look like if they wear it. Wings Beachwear in Miami will have mannequins that have tattoos.
American Apparel’s downtown New York City store will have mannequins wearing lingerie with pubic hair that shows. David’s Bridal will have mannequins that have thicker waists, saggier breasts and back fat so that women with those problems will have a clearer picture of how their wedding dress will look on them.
David’s Bridal vice president Michele Von Plato stated, “This will give a shopper a better idea of what the dress will look like on her.”
Normal mannequins are tall, skinny and faceless making it very easy for shopper to see an outfit on it and automatically discard the idea of wearing it if their body type doesn’t match the mannequin.
Retailers have gotten together and come up with more life-like mannequins to advertise their clothing. In addition to adding fat and hair to the mannequins, retailers will experiment with makeup, wigs and even different poses.
Retailers have been cutting back over the last twenty years on the money they spend on their mannequins. Now, most retailers use mannequins that are white, headless and torsos with no arms and legs.
These basic mannequins only run a retailer about $300 as opposed to the $1,500 price tag on the more realistic ones. However, with more and more people starting to shop online, retailers have to find ways to get people into their stores.
A lot of those retailers believe that seeing life-like mannequins wearing the clothing will prompt window shoppers to enter the store and try on something they might not have otherwise tried.
NPD Group Inc., is a market research firm that recently polled customers on what helps them make their buying decisions. Mannequins came in at 42% second only to friends and family in influencing a buying decision.
LIM College chair of visual merchandising department Eric Feigenbaum stated that “Mannequins are the quintessential silent sales people.”
The first mannequin made was one based on the stick thin model Twiggy in 1966. The next year, the mannequin maker Rootstein came out with a black mannequin based on Donvale Luna, the first black fashion model.
Ralph Pucci International is a big mannequin maker that plans on coming out with mannequins with fuller hips and wider waists next year.
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