There are a few industries that are changing so fast due to the fast-paced rhythm that it’s hard to keep up with them all the time. One of them is the fashion industry. This multi-billion worth industry has always been so dynamic that those who are following all the trends are always impatiently anticipating new season and new fashion ideas and concept.
From the brands’ point of view, adapting to all of these trends is not easy. Staying up-to-date with trends that are not even related to the fashion industry, such as technology and global movements, is very challenging and stressful.
During the last few decades, all the fashion trends were displayed and promoted on mannequins in stores to inform potential customers about the new fashion waves. In a way, mannequins were always messengers of the fashion information. However, they are often ignored when talking about this world.
In 2019, what are the biggest mannequin and fashion trends which will be remembered once we say goodbye to this year? What are the most important aspects of today’s fashion that we all should be aware of? In this article, we bring you an overview of these trends.
The mannequin industry dates back to the Industrial Revolution. The first time they appeared was in the urban department stores in 1870. That’s when shopping became so much more than just a need. It became a fun activity for people to spend their time alone or with their friends. The trend that followed was window shopping. Many people would just spend their days walking around and looking into the windows of the stores. That’s when the vendors saw the opportunity to place mannequins as a way to interest the potential buyers and invite them to come inside to check out the offer inside the store.
During that period, mannequins were created with vax and had false teeth, glass eyes and real hair. Overall, they looked pretty lifeless and they’ve kept this look for decades. First, they were only made in three variations: left foot forward, right foot forward or both of them together. Also, stores needed to cover their windows as the law forbid them to change the mannequins’ clothes in front of everyone.
As the wax was problematic during the higher temperatures, in the 1920s Siegel&Stockman invested paper maché mannequin which weighed way less than the waxed one. When talking about the figure of the mannequin, it evolved from a Victorian model into a more boyish genre. Just a couple of years later, Käthe Kruse invented a metal skeleton which enables mannequins to move.
It’s an interesting fact that mannequins were reduced by several centimeters during the Second World War. Also, female mannequins had a very serious look on their faces during that time. Other manufacturers were still focused on finding the adequate material for these mannequins but most of the attempts led to failure. From that time, mannequins were made from plastic which became the best solution for the specific conditions in the stores.
The shapes of mannequins in the ‘50s and ‘60s were influenced by famous women with an hourglass figure, such as Marilyn Monroe. The next decade led to mannequins without the majority of facial features but with a fit figure. This was also carried over to the ’80s but with a bigger focus on aerobics trend which even resulted in mannequins having abs. The lifetime of a mannequin is almost as interesting as the lifetime of humans, right?
Throughout history, we’ve seen mannequins reflecting fashion trends for every decade, sometimes even for a period of few years. These past years, we are finally enjoying fashion which includes different body types, especially when it comes to women.
The ‘plus size’ movement is empowering women with curves to become confident and more aware of their beauty. Consequently, many fashion brands started hiring plus size models to establish communication with women they’ve been ignoring for so long. From clothing lines designed especially for them to adjusting their entire philosophy to become more inviting to all differences among their customers.
This led to diversity among mannequins as well. Now, we can see plus size mannequins and dress form mannequins in various sizes in the stores, but also other body types that bring a touch of reality into the world of fashion. After all, not all customers are skinny, tall and with exactly the same measurements as the mannequins from the previous era. If brands want to connect with their target audience on a more meaningful level, they will need to recognize that first.
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Realistic facial features are equally important as body figures. The abstract design is not bringing the results it used to bring to fashion businesses. For instance, with technology, these businesses can create a more realistic representation of their average customer. Not to mention that technology provides valuable data that can be used to enhance the entire business strategy of fashion companies, not just the aspect related to mannequins.
It’s interesting how mannequins have been present on the fashion market for more than 100 years now, but they are still not seen as the crucial element that not all promotes products in a great, efficient way but also makes a connection with your prospects and customers. Without such connections, it’s impossible to run a successful business today!
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