In high fashion designing and dressmaking, the custom high-end mannequin – mannequin couture – has been shown to significantly increases sales potential. A mannequin that duplicates the target public’s perception of themselves and displays garments as the customers would wear them does 2 things:
- allows customers to visualize the garment on themselves;
- creates an affinity for the product that wouldn’t otherwise exist.
Wouldn’t it be ideal if every mannequin could be created specifically to your store design, fashion style, garment cut and size?
Many believe that customized mannequins are prohibitively expensive. This is a myth. It’s possible to create many custom mannequin ranges at no additional cost to a normal retail mannequin range. The mannequins are ideally suited to their cut and style of clothing, and commensurate with the visual merchandising strategy.
Mannequins communicate with potential customers, creating a connection with the target market who may see an element of themselves in the mannequin displays. They also allow the retailer to promote various fashion concepts to that person with the end objective of a sale.
When tailoring the message the retailer is trying to convey, the mannequins need to be consistent with this. The mannequins are ultimately important at the point of sale and can make the sale for you, or send people away. All the following should be taken into account to make sure they are a match with the demographic data you have.
- Style ( abstract, vintage, modern/coloured )
- Attributes of the target market
Mannequin Couture – The Process
Producing a mannequin couture range starts with a specific brief as to what the objective is. Sculpting is then usually an incremental process and performed in conjunction with the client until the range is complete. After this the moulds are made and production commences. The same routine applies to the sculpting of heads, taking into account the mood, expression and age.
Customization is also relevant in creating the window and store displays. A mannequin can in theory have an infinite number of poses as does a human being. Certain poses have been selected and universally accepted as appropriate for fashion retailing. The advantage of custom mannequins is that they creates a sense of display uniqueness and provides a distinct foundation for market differentiation.
For even more cost effectiveness, customization does not have to mean the complete creation of a mannequin form from the beginning. It can simply be creating heads for or applying one of the myriad of colour and surface finishes (such as gloss, textured or flock) to existing ranges.