Fashion chains demand larger mannequins as average woman measures up to celebrities like Adele and Christina Hendricks
The ‘new normal’ for women, including celebrities like Adele and Christina Hendricks, has led to a surge in demand for larger mannequins from fashion chains.
Displaysense, which manufactures shop dummies, has seen a big increase in demand for 12-14 mannequins to reflect the reality of the nation’s hour glass figure.
Demand has risen by 16per cent in the past year as stores attempt to present a more realistic view of customers coming through the doors.
Celebrating their curves: Adele, left, and Christina Hendricks, right, have become fashion icons for the nation thanks to their hour-glass figures
The idea that size 12-16 women are normal, attractive and desirable is at odds with the recent outburst from fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
He famously dismissed Grammy-award winning singer Adele as a ‘little too fat’ before later apologising.
Using his benchmark, the same might be said of Christina Hendricks, the actress made famous in the hit TV show Mad Men, who has become an international sex symbol likened to Marilyn Monroe.
Displaysense spokesman Jim Moody said: ‘Curves are back and set to stay this spring/summer.
‘Lagerfeld may want size zero on his catwalk but the commercial viability of the growing plus-size clothing market is being seized by high street chains and independent retailers alike.
‘Staying relevant to your audience is essential and our order books show that sales of larger sized and bigger breasted mannequins, wider clothes hangers for heavier garments and other plus-size display products are undoubtedly on the rise in 2012.’
Slimmer mannequins like this could be a thing of the past this coming year following the surge in demand for larger models
Displaysense has also reported more unusual product requests including larger watch displays and a wider opening for their glass jars to reflect a demand from people with wider wrists.
Historically, fashion chains restricted the number of larger sizes they offered, effective shutting the door on women who were not stick thin.
However, they have come to accept there is big money in bigger women, with the value of sales to larger customers up 45per cent in just five years.
The fact that the nation is getting bigger across all age groups means a quarter of women – 6.2million – are now size 18 or above.
Designer Mark Fast caused waves when he sent size 12 and 14 models down his catwalk shows, while the size 16 model Crystal Ren has also changed the perception of larger women.
Department store Debenhams has run an experiment by introducing size 16 mannequins to shop windows.
Historically, the chain used a standard size 10 mannequins in all its window displays. However, some 42per cent of its customers are either a size 14 or 16 and it was keen to reflect this.
The Government in Spain has put pressure on retailers to implement a voluntary ban on the use of skinny mannequins on the basis they put unfair pressure on women.