Earlier this year I started posting on my Facebook page images of vintage Rootstein Mannequins. I was interested in the women that Rootstein chose to sculpt into fiberglass mannequins.

My posts were so popular I am compiling into a series on my blog. That way people who aren’t on FB can see them and if you are on FB you won’t have to scroll through all my posts on other topics to find the ones about Rootstein.

As the owner of a mannequin recycling company, I have handled every brand of mannequin on the planet. But Rootstein mannequins are my personal favorites for several reasons.

In this article about the history of mannequins, Rootstein is credited for introducing mannequins with sex appeal and designing mannequins modeled after celebrities.

Rootstein’s first celebrity mannequin was Twiggy which they released in 1966.

The following year, during the civil rights movement, the company released the first African American mannequin, Donayle Luna .

Rootstein mannequins were the mannequins of choice of all the high end retailers. Their craftsmanship was superb and they had a knack for choosing the right “It” girl to turn into a mannequin.

Like in the 1970’s when they did this one of Cher –

And Rootstein pioneered having mannequins that had expressive and
“lifelike” poses. They looked more like real women moving instead of stiff dolls. For example this series of mannequins looks as if they are dancing.

Rootstein mannequins were released during the golden age of store window displays from the late 1960’s to early 1990’s. Window displays were more elaborate and all the mannequins had realistic faces. Those days are gone and fewer and fewer retailers are using realistic mannequins in their window displays (if they even have a window display)

So my series about Rootstein is because I am feeling nostalgic about how retailing used to be. When window displays were like street theatre. The person who assisted me with the series was a visual merchandiser during the golden age of window displays. I will provide more details about him in an upcoming post.

From time to time we have used Rootstein mannequins for sale that we have recycled from retail chains. When we do you can find them here.

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