Just as beauty brands and magazine editorials have had luck trading out wispy models for women with measurements more reflective of the broader population, stores are substituting angular, faceless mannequins for prototypes that look somewhat human.
While American Apparel’s new models were something of a gratuitous effort (the still inhumanly thin mannequins wore merkins, great), other retailers are trying for broader realism. Wings Beachwear, based in Miami, gave mannequins à propos flower tattoos. David’s Bridal is doing more of a Dove ad campaign type of thing, overhauling their mannequin’s looks to include thicker waists, more realistic chests, and…back fat. Saks Fifth Avenue, meanwhile, won’t be adding weight to its mannequins, but it is giving them faces, hair, and makeup.
The new mannequins, are, for the most part, more expensive than the thin, detail-freemodels of yore. The effort stores are putting into updating what they use to show their clothes is yet another step in the big battle against online retail. Who ever thought a fake flower tattoo would be a key tactic to compete with the Web?