I asked this question to my client who has over 100 Rootstein mannequins. It his collection that I am featuring in a series of posts on this blog. The Rootstein mannequins posted in this blog post are ones we currently have for sale here.
It used to be relatively easy to find used Rootstein mannequins, but now the pickings are pretty slim. Online retailing and retail bankruptcies means fewer mannequins are produced. Plus the style of mannequins many retailers use now are headless or egghead versus the realistic style that Rootstein is known for.
The national retailers that currently have a large collection of realistic Rootstein mannequins are: Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf’s & Saks. These retailers tend to display the realistic’s primarily for Holiday Windows and special occasions. They use stylized or egghead mannequins the rest of the year.
If any of these stores close or remodel, you might get lucky are able to score a Rootstein mannequin from them. Also Ralph Lauren uses Rootstein Mannequins, but the stylized versions.
Anyway, back to my collector and where he sources his Rootstein mannequins:
Approximately 20 of his Rootstein’s mannequins were purchased from us, which we acquired from retail chains who no longer carry them.
Here is where he purchased the rest of the used mannequins ( sometimes he bought brand new ones directly from Rootstein)
Used Store Fixtures (Pittsburgh defunct)
Mannequin ETC (Michigan defunct)
F E Frederick ( Pittsburgh defunct)
San Vision Mannequins
He also acquired mannequins from these retailers when they were closing/merging/remodeling
Macy’s, Carson’s, Elder Beerman, Herbergers, Horne’s, Gantos, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, JCPenney (the Halston Collection), Kaufmann’s, Dayton’s, Hudson’s, Marshall Fields, Gucci, Bloomingdale’s, Weinstocks, Vroom and Dreesmann, Chanel, Foley’s, Hechts, Jacobson’s, Dillards, May Company, Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein.
As you can see, very few of the stores listed above are still in existence.
Sometimes you can find a Rootstein Mannequin in unexpected places. One time we got a boatload of Rootstein’s from a Sears store, even though Sears did not normally buy Rootstein Mannequins. But this particular Sears store had moved into location that formerly belonged to Emporium/Capwell and inherited their mannequins. They just kept them in the basement until someone from the main office said to get rid of them.
Also one of our local museums was getting rid of mannequins and although all 27 Rootstein’s had been repainted into a ghastly yellow color, they were structurally sound and in great poses.
Lastly sometimes a Rootstein mannequin will turn up at a garage sale or flea market but often it will have a missing arm or hand. We have a small supply of used Rootstein parts and if we don’t have what you need, ask on the Facebook Group: Vintage Mannequins.