Who still thinks one-size-fits-all mannequins make sense?
Nike earned wide praise last week for installing its first plus-size mannequin in one of its stores. The mannequins are featured on a special floor dedicated to women at its refurbished flagship in London.
“To celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of sport, the space will not just celebrate local elite and grassroot athletes through visual content, but also show Nike plus size and para-sport mannequins for the first time on a retail space,” Nike said in a press release.
Nike introduced its first “plus-size” collection in 2017 with sizes ranging from a 1X to 3X.
Consumers took to social media to applaud Nike for embracing diverse body types. In 2014, The Guardian reported that the average mannequin is six-feet-tall with a 34-inch bust, 24-inch waist and 34-inch hips.
Among the social media comments:
- “Idk why but this @Nike mannequin makes me feel so empowered”
- “@nikesportswear @nike got it right!! This mannequin look just like me and you!! Thank you for displaying real bodies in workout gear! Just because we are curvy doesn’t mean we are lazy!”
- “Hopefully, other stores + brands learn from this excellent example and start to use a variety of realistic-sized mannequins.”
Nordstrom, Old Navy and Target have also displayed plus-size mannequins over the last year in support bigger pushes into plus-sized apparel.
From a marketing standpoint, many brands and retailers have been embracing “body positivity” messages — from Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign that was first introduced in 2004 to CVS’s commitment announced last year to no longer retouch beauty ads. Newer intimates clothing brands, such as Aerie, Third Love and Adore, have earned praise for featuring everyday women in advertising instead of models.
The body positive movement has exploded in recent years with the rise of plus-sized models and social media influencers.
The common knock from critics is that the body positive movement overlooks the health risks of being overweight. Past articles exploring the use of plus-sized models and mannequins have also related that many retail merchants have an ingrained mentality that apparel in smaller sizes looks more appealing.
- Nike Introduces Plus-Size Mannequins In London Store – CNN
- Nike introduces mannequins of all shapes, sizes and abilities in new store – Today
- Nike Just Introduced Curvy Mannequins – People
- What Is REI Doing About Extended Sizing In 2019? – REI
- The Problem With Body Positivity – The New York Times
- Body positivity is everywhere, but is it for everyone? – USA Today
- Nike introduces plus-size mannequins to London store – CNN
- Do thinner mannequins make people buy clothes? – The Guardian
- Plus-Size Mannequin Sparks Outrage For ‘Encouraging Obesity’ – ABC News
- Mannequins get too real for retail – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Why has it taken so long for plus-sized mannequins to make it to retail selling floors? Do you think plus-sized mannequins will become common over the next five years?