I created this blog posting for fans and collectors of Adel Rootstein mannequins. We frequently acquire used Rootsteins as we recycle  mannequin for museums and retail chains. And as result we’ve learned to appreciate the value of Rootstein’s and that there is a rabid fan base of collectors

Kevin Arpino, the current creative director at Rootstein has posted several Youtube videos featuring different collections of Rootstein mannequins over the years. In a 2012 interview with the New York Times they called him brash and particular and when you read the interview you can see why. Rootstein mannequins are the “Rolls Royce” of mannequins and there certainly is a “snob” element associated with them.

Unlike all the other mannequin manufacturers we’ve worked with, Rootstein will not sell us parts for the used mannequins we acquire from our liquidations. Sometimes they have a broken hand or are missing the glass base, so we have to fend for ourselves in finding replacements or sell the mannequin at a deeply discounted price.

FYI, if you are interested in a used Rootstein, send us an email and we will add you to our list of collectors. When we get Rootstein’s we send out an email to our collectors first before posting them on our website.

If you have an older Rootstein mannequins that need updated hair and make-up, all my Rootstein collectors rave about David Costa at www.DashnDazzle.com. David, a former Rootstein employee, hand paints – not airbrushes – the faces and will even put in glass eyes.

David does NOT do repair work so if you have a damaged mannequin or one with missing fingers, we suggest Nancy at Mannequin Recovery in Arizona or Sherrie at Modern Mannequin in Houston.

We’ve created a Pinterest board devoted to Rootstein Mannequins, and many of the images are some of the used mannequins we’ve had over the years. Before you get excited we have only had two  Cher mannequins and one Joan Collins in the 10 years we have been recycling mannequins. Never seen a Twiggy, Luna or Diana Brill  – which are frequently requested by collectors.

 

VIDEO

                                                                          Here is an excerpt from Adel Rootstein’s obituary (she died in 1992)
Rootstein founded her mannequin company with her husband, the industrial designer Richard Hopkins, from a small backroom in Soho in the Sixties. Flourishing at the heart of swinging London, they produced their handcrafted mannequins using the latest fibreglass technology. The personal touch would become Rootstein’s signature in commercial dealings. Her gentle, considered manner inspired goodwill, and, despite the company’s expanding to international status and employing 200 staff, it retained the happy, experimental elements of its first days.

In the unpredictable world of fashion, Rootstein’s reputation and success was made from her proven reliability as a forecaster and talent-spotter. She could identify a trend up to 18 months before it hit the streets and then locate the right face and figure to embody it.

Rootstein saw the potential in Twiggy’s elfin, gamine look before the Sixties media vultures swooped; she spotted Sandie Shaw before ‘Puppet on a String’; she made a mannequin of Joan Collins before Dynasty revived her flagging fame. These and other Rootstein mannequins are now collector’s items. They have been amongst those chosen each year to be displayed in the Museum of Fashion at Bath and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The mannequins, lifelike even to having facial pores and covetable figures, act as cultural and economic barometers. In the early Eighties, a time of escapism from recessionary gloom, Rootstein mannequins were invested with Hollywood glamour. The mid-Eighties and the health boom brought a more natural non-model model look. ‘Suddenly we were modelling mannequins on our receptionist and the garage mechanic,’ said Michael Southgate, Rootstein’s creative director.

In recent years, she opted for an eclectic mix of professional models, such as Yasmin Le Bon, more male mannequins (especially soigne types of athletic build), reflecting men’s increased fashion consumption, and, oddly, brash society hostesses. This year, Rootstein launched the mannequin series ‘Rave’ (past series have included ‘Heroes’, ‘Body Boys’ and ‘Classy Lady Longlegs’), which was modelled on the fashion- world hostess Susanne Bartsch. ‘It is the greatest change since the Sixties,’ said Rootstein. ‘Once more, the focus is on the club scene, escapism and fun.’

One of Rootstein’s most successful (and newsworthy) mannequins was that based on Dianne Brill, the New York society hostess and model for the high-fashion designer Thierry Mugler. Brill’s curvaceous form (‘She’s all pneumatic breasts, tiny waist and landscape bottom,’ drooled one editorial) and her 40-24-39 measurements were dubbed by Rootstein ‘The Shape of the Nineties’ with much trumpeting of curves as the new fashion requisite.

Some criticized Brill as not a conventional choice or obvious beauty, but in that she was typical of Rootstein. Being ahead was her forte and she was respected (and keenly observed) for her ability to translate the zeitgeist into human – or, rather, fiberglass – form. Key to the creative process was her artist John Taylor, who sculpted the clay model from which a plaster cast was made. Those who posed for Taylor include Joanna Lumley, Susan Hampshire, Patrick Lichfield and Simon Ward (featured in a series ‘The Actors’).

In 1991 the Rootstein Hopkins Group Ltd was bought by a Japanese company, one with which she had enjoyed close working links for almost 20 years.

Rootstein trained in window display in her twenties, but was said to have been fascinated by the subject from the age of 11. Her fashion philosophy, for all its creative kudos, was underpinned by sound commercial sense: ‘Our success lies in the product that does what it is supposed to do – to sell clothes.’

Above all, she understood the importance of display and was aware of the void that existed between fashion coverage by the glossy international magazines and what actually appeared in store windows. ‘There must be excitement to make people buy. We aim for a theatrical vision of real life.’

Extensive experience in window design had given Adel Rootstein an awareness of the void that existed between the catwalk and the store windows. Adel wanted to fill that gap. With the Adel Rootstein Company, she was able to create a whole new generation of display mannequins, and finally bring the fashion catwalk to store windows.

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Phoebe
Phoebe
13 years ago

Very thorough and factual blog article. Adel was truly ahead of her time and a forerunner changing the way mannequins were created and manufactured and received by Display/Visual staffers and the consumers who passed her mannequins everyday in the stores Display windows and interiors. Bravo Judi!!!!

Judi
13 years ago

I received this comment from Phoebe Phillipst a mannequin refurbishers in the Pacific Northwest:

Fabulous job on the Rootstein article really!!! I know one thing about her that you might add that stood out about this fabulous lady is that in her position she could have-but she didn’t’ try to totally “control” her peoples creativity which was rare then AND now. She let them bring the best they had to offer and let them create her “vision” wherther it be sculpt, make-up or hair for example.

I learned this from a Roostein make-up artist back in the 70’s who visited Dallas to create make-up for Neimans mannequins as well as educate me as well to the style of Oil Portrait make-up that Roostein crates as I was their refubisher at the time

I still use those techiniques today as does David with Dash N’ Dazzle, I think we are the only Face-Painters that work in oil. Most refurbihser work in Acrylic and airbrush and that is a very neat, clean look as
well-just differnt mediums, different looks-up to being taught diffently I worked with acrylic and airbrush-Nancy is Tops in working in acrylic with airbrush!!!

Mira
Mira
13 years ago

Hi – I have a vintage Adel Rootstein mannequin that I’m interested in selling. It’s marked Shawfield House, Shawfield Street, London with some additional numbers and “registered” markings. It’s in great condition, with metal/glass stand and complete wig. Anyone know the fair market value ranges?

Phoebe
Phoebe
13 years ago

TO: MIra

the value of a used mannequin depends on the line and age the mannequin is from and the condition. Will depend greatly on whether it is a mannequin sought by collectors.

An original Rootstien Made in England must be fairly vintage. Is she in good shape? any serial markings on the fittings? is the wig hard fiber with a hard cap or soft and does it as well have any markings?

Knowing this info along with several pics will help you get a better ballpark on price.

Vintage Rootstein with the base, rod, wig and all original parts are VERY rare, sought after, valuable to collectors.

Best,

Phoebe

chris
chris
12 years ago

I have an older mannequin that I am trying to get an age on. Are there markings somewhere on her body that would tell me that? All I see is a size 12. She has beautiful eyes and no hair. But she does have a piece of felt that goes around her head for a wig. If anyone can help me, I would really appreciate it. chris chrisdoug@embarqmail.com

NEAL BARR
NEAL BARR
12 years ago

looking for late 1970s and early 1980s Renata, Luna. Yoko models. small breasted. Walking stances.

NEAL BARR
NEAL BARR
12 years ago

Looking for late late 1970s and early 1980s mannequens. Renata and Luna and LUNA series.

NEAL BARR
NEAL BARR
12 years ago

Looking for Rootstein late 1970s and early 1980s mannequins RENATA, LUNA, and YOKO series. WALKING STANCES. SMALL BRESTED.

Lorraine
10 years ago
Reply to  NEAL BARR

How do I find out what name my mannequin has and what year she was made ?

Ron
Ron
12 years ago

I have recently acquired three Rootstein female mannequins. Previously, I knew NOTHING about Rootstein or mannequins. I bought them on impulse at a flea market, took them home, cleaned them up, repaired and painted them. I took care not to mess with the face or makeup. I would like to know what I have. The heads are stamped LS5, V4 and SN3. Can someone tell me who they are supposed to be, their vintage, or anything else you’d like to offer? Don’t worry about insulting me. What I don’t know about mannequins would fill a book. I need arms and hands for two of them. Thanks. Ron.
easywriter01@yahoo.com.

Lorraine
10 years ago

Hello everyone I have a vintage Adel Rootstein half body female mannequin I would love some information on – age etc – its got a metal signature on the bottom – has a wee hole in the head and a cracked shoulder but dont want to sell her too cheaply – can anyone get in touch with me with an email so I can send an attachment photograph?
Thanks
Lorraine
Dundee
Scotland
UK

chris
chris
9 years ago
Reply to  Lorraine

hi there ,did you find out who your rootstein was ,does she have any letters numbers on her head or metal arm shoulder plates , sen me a pic if you like i will see if i know her, all the best chris

Marc
10 years ago

I have a Bubbles BU-4 in my living room and i think its really the most beautifull Mannequin is have seen. im still lokking for the other 2 bublle serie mannequins. the bu-3 en 5

someone?

jerome
jerome
10 years ago

HI,
I’m french, sorry for my bad english, I have a half body female mannequins, the head is stamped G8. I was ready to buy it on e bay when i discovered your website. Any idea of is age and of his value?
PS : I think it has been repaint
Thanks

Moira
Moira
9 years ago

Great article. I use an old Adel Rootstein mannequin called Edie in my work
http://www.moiraspruntphotography.com

Janet
Janet
6 years ago

Does Rootstein have a factory in U S? I have a mannequin that came from Ralph Lauren store and looks like Yasmin Le Bon. Only mark is a sticker that says Made in USA. Did Lauren use other makers of mannequins? Thanks.

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