Photo via Library of Congress
Collectors Weekly has a great article about the history of mannequins – where I did most of my research for this post. In it they note that Wizard of Oz” author L. Frank Baum “..edited a display magazine called “The Show Window,” and in 1900, he published a book “The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors.” Baum advocated the innovative use of mannequins to sell the “romance of Merchandise and Merchandising” by creating scenes that lured customers into a fantasyland.”
And throughout the ages, mannequins have changed with the times. As fashions went from corsets to mini skirts, mannequin manufacturing reflected those trends. And they still do today. Now we have plus sized mannequins, mannequins that run, do yoga and can even be posed to be skiing or snowboarding.
Mannequins are an integral component to successfully selling a lifestyle. Sure they are nameless, faceless beings – but to me – I couldn’t do my job well without them. They are the workhorse of retail today. And they are my friends – so be nice to them, please.
To learn more about the world of mannequins you can visit www.mannequinmadness.com where you can read an epic history of mannequins published by The Smithsonian Magazine.