From SMH AU NEWS
Shapely dummy helps maker’s bottom line
With her multiple marriages, bling bling and diva-like behaviour, Jennifer Lopez seems an unlikely model for the average woman.
But Sydney’s biggest producer of mannequins believes the singer and actor “mirrors what the customers are”.
“We’re not all stick figures,” said Simone Goodrick, the general manager of Kodis Mannequin.
The company has just introduced its latest fashion dummy, the J-Lo mannequin, whose main feature is its “South American bum”.
Kodis estimates there has been a 30 per cent increase in sales of its standard size 12 mannequins and size 16 torsos over the past 12 months.
“The market’s demanding realistic girls,” said Miss Goodrick, whose clients include Target, David Jones and Bras ‘n’ Things.
Graeme McPherson, operations manager of Storeworks, a shopfitting and merchandising retailer, said inquiries for larger dummies have risen from about one in 40 three years ago to one in 10. But these inquiries tend to be from boutique or speciality shops, not big department stores, he said.
Sarah Carter, national visual merchandising manager for Just Jeans, said the clothing retailer had replaced its size 8 mannequins with size 10s in CBD stores over the past 18 months.
“They’re not voluptuous but they definitely have a hip and a bottom,” she said.
“It makes the product look a lot better [and] fills out the jeans,” said Ms Carter.
American mannequins have also been supersized. The New York manufacturer Ralph Pucci recently sold his size 12 “Goddess” mannequin to the upmarket department store Saks Fifth Avenue.
But Daisy Veitch, managing director of the Adelaide mannequin maker SHARP Dummies, said it was not the shop mannequins that needed to grow.
With the average Australian woman wearing a size 16, Ms Veitch said: “Unless you change the mannequins that are used for the modelling [manufacturing of garments], it doesn’t really matter because the clothes won’t fit the customer.”