Mannequins in Fashion Industry: Types, Importance, Application and Advantages

Mannequins in Fashion Industry: Types, Importance and Uses

Shubham Anil Jain
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited
Bangalore, India


What is Mannequin?
Mannequins can be defined as, the artificial dolls which is mostly used by the retailers to display their merchandise or anything to attract the consumers. Because of it, the customers come to know about the latest trend the store offers without sometimes even bothering the sales representative. It is the attractive mannequin which pulls the customer into the store. It is also used to highlight the unique collections of the store and display the latest trends in fashion influence the customers to buy the particular merchandise. Mannequins attract the customers into the store and thus increase the revenue and profit and responsible for up selling at the retail store.

Mannequins in Fashion Industry
Fig: Mannequins in Fashion Industry

Different Types of Mannequins in Fashion Industry:

1. Abstract mannequins:
These types of mannequins are highly famous with elite stores and displays because of the intricate detailed finish they have. They are mostly treated more as contemporary pieces of art shown in quality fashion retail stores across the world. To make them special they have facial features. They have some other features like muscles, elbows, and fingernails. It is also found that some abstract fashion mannequins made from glass fiber will have the subtle curves of a human body, which results the best in the clothing put on them.

Abstract mannequins
Fig: Abstract mannequins

2. Realistic mannequins:
They are created in such a way that, it looks lifelike and like a real person. It is made from fibreglass skin to replicate the human skin making them look even more realistic in nature. This mannequins are sized to average human dimensions, and their heads are covered with wigs styled to look casual or formal, depending on the way they are to be dressed up. These mannequins are mostly used in high-end or expensive stores.

Realistic mannequins
Fig: Realistic mannequins

3. Headless mannequins:
The specialty of this kind of mannequins are that they offer great options for displays that are limited by the height of the ceiling. Also crafted from fibreglass, they are available in different sizes, shapes, colors and poses depending on the requirement of the display. The fiberglass construction ensures durability and their neck is usually straight. Male and female headless fashion mannequins can display all types of clothing efficiently because they do not offer any emotions.

Headless mannequins
Fig: Headless mannequins

4. Torso mannequins:
They are compact and easy to transport and are most widely available. It is seen that, some torso mannequins come with the option of attaching limbs, so when needed can be attached and can display only the top part of the clothing efficiently. The feature of this mannequins are that, they are efficient in places where there are several mannequins and individual clothing lines need to be highlighted. They are the cheapest of fashion mannequins.

Torso mannequins
Fig: Torso mannequins

5. Sexy mannequins:
They are mostly used in particular genre like lingerie outlets or ‘adult’ stores. They are constructed from high quality fibreglass and the skin feels realistic. They too have detachable limbs to dress them up in lingerie or for the bed room. Even they are available in both genders, most mimic the female form. These fashion mannequins have voluptuous shapes and are available in provocative poses to make the pieces on them more appealing.

Sexy mannequins
Fig: Sexy mannequins

Importance of Mannequins in Fashion Retail Industry:

  1. When the retail business is concerned, it is important that the merchandise is displayed and presented in a manner, which is very attractive, appealing and eye-catching. Hence, in fashion retail trade visual display of goods and merchandise can have a big impact on the sales and what can be a better option than mannequins to display ones products.
  2. Mannequins are nothing but the model of human body which is being used by retail store owners to display their merchandise. Retailers manage various techniques to display their products so as to attract the potential buyers. So, in this way the mannequins help the retailers to draw the customers to their stores.
  3. The specialty of the mannequins is that, they pop out from the windows of a shop. They attract the customers to give a look while passing by the store. There are numerous methods to promote a brand and its sales. Mannequins are used as one of these methods to showcase the merchandise.
  4. When a customer passes by the store, they observe the window display of the store first, so the decision regarding buying takes at that instance itself. Mannequins add value to the merchandise. They draw attention to the collection of the shop and appeal the customers to buy garments and thus generate income for the store.
  5. Since from the past years, mannequins have been used as one of the valuable tool in apparel retail business. When the clothes are displayed at the store using the mannequins, the customer can observe all the features and characteristics of the garment before entering the store. If the mannequins are able to impress and attract the customers with their beauty and the clothes they wear, it becomes very easy for the retailer to sell his merchandise.

Uses of Mannequins in Textile and Fashion Industry:
It is seen that, from 15th century, mannequins were mostly used by retailers for window display of fashionable items. As the trend for fast fashion is increasing, the application of manikins is also increasing which is described below:

1. Evaluate clothing size and fit:
Mannequins are also created to visualize how clothes can look on a certain human body shape. When the idealized the clothes displayed on the mannequins, who has the same body size and shape, is proof that the mannequins has successfully play its role.

2. Check the fit, drape, and visual appearance of a design:
Major use of the mannequins are for fitting purpose which are used by fashion designer or textile manufacturer to check the fit, drape, and visual appearance of a design on a physical mannequins. It selected are normally those with the same size specifications of the designer of manufacturer. So, basically the garments which are made for man or women are of different sizes should be graded per many different fit models to verify that the patterns of the garments are translated accurately across the different body proportions.

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3. Body shape evaluation:
As it is clear that, the evaluation of the size and fit of cloth is particularly based on the body shape of a person. The shape of the body from upper to lower alongside with your waist is called as body shape. Body shapes can be analyzed by calculating the average waist to chest ratio and average waist to average hip ratio. Female body shapes are classified as apple, oval, pear, banana, or hourglass. And male body shapes are categorized as triangle, oval, inverted triangle, rectangle, and trapezoid.

4. Inspect garment construction and garment:
In garment industry, mannequins are used to inspect the specification for sample garments. These sample garments are constructed based on the dummy size so that the quality of the garments could be analyzed. Once the sample garments are ready, it will be put on them that have the same size. Having the correct measurement, it can make ensure the garment construction be evaluated effectively.

Advantages of Mannequins:

  1. Mannequins act as a silent salesperson, a kind of staff-aid. They work as a mediator between the merchandise and the customers, for being able to communicate a lot of details about a certain item they display.
  2. They have a close-to-customer aspect, people actually getting to see how a certain item looks on someone, not only imagine.
  3. Some stores use mannequins as a compensation for a reduced number of employees.
  4. It provide the possibility of displaying different items at the same time such like clothes, jewelry, footwear, other accessories which is an important advantage in terms of space.
  5. It is considered as an easier crafting of the themes, with the help of “realistic collection” of mannequins or with “action mannequins”.

As per the future of retail is concerned, it will be more visually attractive with the help of beautifully dressed mannequins and dress form. Because of the use of smart devices can help the consumers to see the 360-degree view of the clothing in mannequins even when the stores are closed. As the application of 3D technology is becoming popular day by day, the 3D display of clothing by using the Mannequins should be the future trend in textile and fashion industry. Even it is found that the usage and importance of mannequins has been raised to another level.


  1. Manikins for Textile Evaluation Edited by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye
  2. Mannequins – enhancing the retail experience,
  4. What are Mannequins ? – Purpose and its Importance in Retail Industry,
  5. Application of Manikins in Textile Industry,

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