My previous post here listed the the top 6 mannequin that every serious Rootstein collector owns or has on their wish list. Here are the remaining ones and two 2 honorable mentions.
7 Twiggy – this is mannequin that put Adel Rootstein on the map. Read about why on this page of the Rootstein website
8 Mercy– Mercy is one of my personal favorites. Read more about her here. If Twiggy represented a shy girl on the cusp of woman, Mercy represented a confident grown ass woman. In real life she is such a bad ass that no qualms about being a lingerie model – in her 60’s!
9 Sayoko– Sayoko was one of first Asians to be featured in the world’s top European fashion shows. The supermodel became a muse for Kansai Yamamoto, as well as fellow Japanese designers Kenzo Takada and Issey Miyake, and helped to embody a new wave of European appreciation for the Japanese aesthetic.
Honorable Mentions – this two came close to making the top 10 but because they are relatively easy to find on the used market compared to the others, most collectors already have them.
The reason why these girls are easier to find is they were released at time when retail department store chains were expanding and had the budgets and staff to spend on visual merchandising. So the quantity of mannequins produced was much larger than in previous years.
Marianna Winter – she was part of the Calendar girl series which was one of Rootstein’s most widely used collections in the US. Unlike the other girls on the list Marianna was available in a seated pose in addition to several standing poses.
Depending upon how she was styled with wigs and make up she could look like a dewy bride (and was a favorite of bridal stores) or she could have an edgy look as in the photo below. Her versatility was her strength.
Yasmine LeBon– she is the wife of Simon LeBon of the group Duran Duran which gives her some notoriety. In the retail industry her fame comes from her affiliation with Ralph Lauren. She was one of their runway models and one of the most popular mannequins used Ralph Lauren stores. And she is available in variety of poses.
Although she is available in realistic face, Ralph Lauren preferred the abstract version of her.
Salvaging mannequins from retailers that closed or remodeled stores wasn’t happening when most of the mannequins on this list were on the market. So sadly, too many of them ended up in dumpsters even if they were in excellent condition structurally.
But companies like ours along with other used mannequin vendors started offering to recycle mannequins and resell on the secondary market. This not only saved retail stores money because they didn’t have to pay dumpster fees, but this was a more environmentally friendly way to discard mannequins. (Mannequins are made out of materials that do not belong in landfills)
The rise of the internet it made it possible for used mannequins to be sold to a wide range of customers, instead of just retail chains who had relationships with mannequin manufacturers.
But by the time mannequin recycling started to really take hold the popularity of realistic mannequins in retail stores had started to dwindle. They were replaced with headless, abstract or egghead mannequins. Stores were cutting costs and didn’t have the staff to maintain the wigs and make up of realistic mannequins. And they were looking for less expensive mannequins than Rootsteins.
If you are looking for a vintage Rootstein the best place to find one is to join the Facebook group Vintage Mannequins or to search on Ebay.Also sign up here to receive an email alert the next time we acquire used Rootstein’s. You never know when we will acquire some from a museum or from the estate of a former visual merchandiser.