With so many retail clothing stores going out of business I was anticipating that the sales of my new and used mannequins would be declining. And while there was an initial dip when the self-sheltering first began in mid-March, but by May things changes. Suddenly mannequins were in the news.
In a previous blog post I wrote about restaurants using mannequins (or mannequin heads) in place of patrons. Or private individuals using mannequins to broadcast a visual message about self sheltering.
But there is more.
First there is a report that this South Korean baseball team had mannequin sex dolls to serve as fans in an otherwise empty stadium.Who can blame the players for wanting a sexy women cheering them on in the stands?
Sex doll mannequins have many features that make them human like than traditional mannequins. Their skin is soft and pliable and you can pose them in a variety of positions.
Sports leagues that have resumed play in the midst of the coronavirus have been looking for ways to keep the ambiance of games similar to how it was before the pandemic.
Most of these efforts are focused on the fans, since most all of the games are taking place in front of empty arenas.
Other sports teams are using mannequins and cardboard cut out mannequins as fans.
As the self-sheltering guidelines were relaxed in our community in Oakland we started getting visitors in our Oakland warehouse (where we sell used mannequins) who wanted a mannequin for an artistic purpose. It first it was because they were selling or making clothing. But then the requests became more out of the ordinary.
Apparently there is something on Youtube called Hot Knife Challenge, where people videotape what happens when a large and hot knife cuts up all kinds of objects. Our customer wanted to cut up a mannequin which you can see here:
Another customer who lives out of state had us ship him several used mannequins including this used dog mannequin. We usually sell our dog mannequins to customers who sell doggie apparel/accessories or to private individuals who want a fiberglass version of their fur baby.
But this customer is an artist who covers objects with paint and recycled objects like tv remote controls. This is what he did to the dog in the close up and the mannequins are on the right side.
Art, however you define it, is essential. Imagine how much more challenging self-isolation would be without books, music, movies or tv to entertain, distract or enlighten us. So as a mannequin vendor, I am glad that people are using mannequins in artistic ways. It fills a void and nourishes our soul.
For more examples of mannequin art projects, visit this Pinterest board.
I think the trend towards using mannequins in non -traditional ways is because we are hungry for a human connection.