For the month of October, when we are not blogging about Halloween (our favorite holiday cause we sell lots of body parts from our mannequin boneyard), we are going to be blogging about Rootstein mannequins.
We heard a rumor that the Rootstein company is undergoing a lot of organizational changes and laying off long time staff members. One of the staff members posted about it on his Facebook page.
Given the hefty price tag of a new Rootstein ($1300) as well as the trend towards abstract mannequins instead of the realistic mannequins that Rootstein is known for, there is some speculation that the company might have seen better days.
In our mannequin recycling business, we frequently acquire second hand Rootstein mannequins from retail stores and museums, which we then sell on our website.
We are always amazed at how well a Rootstein mannequin holds is value – sometimes the older mannequins that are no longer in production sell for more than the brand new ones. Old Rootstein mannequins are like a fine wine and are treasured by mannequin collectors.
In fact many of the Rootstein mannequins we acquire never make it to our website for the public to see. We have an email list of Rootstein collectors and they receive a notification when we get pre-owned ones in stock so they can have first pick. Often they purchase up everything we have, sometimes getting into bidding wars. If you want to get added to the list, click here
The photo below is a partial collection of avid Rootstein collector and historian, Howard Murray – one of our customers. At last count he had 53 of them. More than many retailers have in their entire store!
Rootstein mannequins are like life size Barbie dolls – only better. And it was my love of Barbie as a child that eventually led to my career in the mannequin industry.
Adel Rootstein, the founder of the company was not only a pioneer in terms of revolutionizing what mannequins looked like, but she was an entrepreneur at a time when a woman’s work was confined to the home. (As a woman entrepreneur I owe her a debt of gratitude)
Rootstein was one of the first companies to create a glamorous African American mannequin – (versus a white mannequin painted in dark colors or a caricature image like other companies did). And they continued to have ethnic diversity in their product line, despite the fact that the fashion industry is overwhelming Anglo.
In the 13 years that I have been in the mannequin industry and recycling mannequins for retail chains, I have seen thousands of mannequins. While some other brands of mannequins are better workhorses in terms of durability (Patina V, Goldsmith), none have the drama or the glamour of a Rootstein. They are works of art.
So if you love Rootstein mannequins or are curious to know about them, check out our next couple of blog posts which has lots of factoids and photos about them and info on the company.
And follow our Rootstein Pinterest board to see images of new and vintage Rootsteins.
The photo below is a wall of face molds at the Rootstein factory.