For the month of February I am going to feature my series on the African American mannequins that Rootstein produced.
This post features the multi-cultural mannequins in the Solo Series. I am not sure if Rootstein planned for these mannequins to look“racially ambiguous“ or if that is just what happened once they appeared in a retail environment.
The model named Guy is Anglo but the mannequin version of him gave the appearance that he was African American. This is because his buzz cut hairstyle is interpreted as a stipple like texture in mannequin form. Which makes it seems like African American hair especially when placed next to a mannequin with wavy hair.
Plus Guy was often in a ”swagger like “ pose which also gave him the air of being African American, especially with that hair texture.
The mannequin named Peter I have seen many times as a realistic mannequin at Macy’s. Depending on the paint finish, can look Asian, as his eyes have a slight almond shape to them. And sometimes he looks African American as he has very full lips. Looking at this photo in the catalogue I can’t tell what ethnicity he is.
The mannequin name Duane seems to be African American or bi-racial, but I have never seen him in a retail store.
A “racially ambiguous” male gives a retailer lots of flexibility of how to display it. If he looks “too ethnic” they risk complaints if they position the mannequin next to an Anglo woman. (But it is okay to position an ethnic woman next to an Anglo man)
Yet when they display men’s fashions with an urban edge, they need a mannequin that looks convincing.
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