For most of us, window shopping is a pastime we can remember from our childhood. Hands pressed into the glass, we’ve all had our share of staring in and imagining ourselves wearing, having or playing with whatever was perfectly and pristinely on display. Mannequins were, of course, a big part of those childhood memories – and as we grew and changed, so did they.
Here are a few interesting facts about the history of these human-like sculptures over time:
- Mannequins date back to the Industrial Revolution, and the first ones were made out of wax, had real hair, false teeth and glass eyes. This meant that they were very heavy and, sadly, melted when temperatures peaked.
- A woman named Käthe Kruse invented a metal skeleton in the 1930s, and this is what gave mannequins the option to move.
- The shape and figure of female mannequins changed with the political climate, famous figures of each time period and fashion trends. In the Second World War, the waist size was reduced several inches and was then later restored, Marlin Monroe inspired a more hour-glass figure and the 90’s brought about abstract faces with less detail and features.
- After wax, mannequins were made from plastic and then eventually fiberglass in the 1960s.
- New efforts are now being made to recycle mannequins. At our partners Hans Boodt, for example, an old mannequin can be returned when purchasing a new one. The old one may be find a new home and if not, it is recycled.
Data source: https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/mannequins-history-trends-and-key-figures/2016112522618