Basically, display mannequins are any form used for displaying fashion merchandise for sale. However when people use the term they are usually referring to life-sized models of the human figure, male or female, that are used to promote an item of fashion in retail stores. The display mannequin is an extension of the real human figure, and it more often than not relates to fashion.
Types of Display Mannequins
These can include:
a complete mannequin which includes head, arms, hands and legs, or
a simple dressmaker or tailor form consisting of the bust to the top off the thigh or
various permutations of the body form.
The type of mannequin to use depends on the items being displayed and the visual merchandising strategy, as well as the marketing strategy. Always keep in mind that mannequins are a continual marketing and point-of-sale aid. They are always promoting the merchandise as well as consolidating your market image and market positioning, so need to stay fresh and current. Any display that looks old and not in vogue will lose you customers.
Display mannequins can be used to merchandise varying items of fashion. This can include apparel and garments however it can also be narrowed to particular items. A whole mannequin may not be necessary if all that is required are parts of it such as the head, hand and feet. These parts of mannequins can be used to merchandise and promote goods for jewelry, safety wear, shoes, hats, glasses and the like.
Mannequins can also be used for various market segments within the fashion market. From high end-fashion, to street wear, to outdoor activities, to sport wear: there is a mannequin for all these purposes. But be careful of generic mannequins, or mannequins that don't represent the image your target public have of themselves.
A mature age fashion retailer needs to select a mannequin that reflect this demographic.
An active athletic mannequin is significantly more effective than a generic mannequin in displaying outdoor activities.
It can look really shoddy when a display of teenage clothes is presented on old out-of-date mannequins.
Why use a mannequin at all?
It has been shown that displaying the merchandise as it should be worn, crystallizes in the buyer's mind how that item would appear on them. And if customers also have a positive disposition to the appearance they are more likely to buy.
In addition retailers use display mannequins as a means of marketing various fashion concepts, to illustrate a new design or show how different pieces of apparel worn together can enhance the total outfit. Mannequins can be fitted with matching shoes, scarves, gloves and eyewear to complete an overall fashion statement.