Try imagining a brand new color, a color that is completely different from everything you know. It’s not an easy task, is it? In art, abstraction, i.e., thinking beyond the existing framework to create something entirely new, is perhaps the most difficult part. The art of designing mannequins requires creativity and courage when presenting innovative solutions.
What is the reason for the elongated body line and oval face of the ICON series mannequins, while the NEXT series features a clean outline of the nose, lips, and eyes? Check out the article with statements from Konrad Szafirowski to learn how we design mannequins and where we find inspiration!
Getting started: the power of a good team
It is rather impossible to picture a brand new color, but it is possible to design a new line of mannequins! A project begins with an idea and vision, which we then need to shape through sketches and drawings. The conceptual work is carried out by several members of our team. These are e.g.:
- Art Director, responsible for trend research and managing design projects;
- Visual Merchandisers ;
- 3D graphic designers;
More Mannequins has an extensive creative team. Why is that? Konrad Szafirowski, CEO of MORE Mannequins, explains:
According to research, sellers who display their products in shop windows have only 2-3 seconds to capture the attention of customers. A potential customer is more likely to enter the store if they become subconsciously curious. This is similar to mannequin stylings, which are designed to encourage purchasing. We know that small details make a difference in the final product, so we pay attention to every detail when designing our products.
Therefore, MORE is responsible for preparing mannequins for specific purposes. They should be aesthetic, practical, and unique in order to present the stylizations in the best possible light, and indirectly encourage customers to buy clothes.
Mannequins communicate as well – not with words but with their entire selves!
What are the steps our design team takes to make the visions a reality? We focus on identifying the target group in the initial stages. The new collection must have a theme and style that the audience will recognize.
The importance of non-verbal communication in interpersonal relationships cannot be overstated. The gestures we make, the way we express ourselves, the poses we adopt can sometimes be more important than the words we speak. Mannequins are similar since, despite not uttering words and not moving, they keep a voiceless dialogue with customers by virtue of their look, attitude, and style.
Women who appreciate elegance and luxury will be drawn to the NEXT line of semi-abstract female mannequins because of their beautifully sculpted bodies, fashionable poses, and a clear outline of their nose, lips, and eyes. The ICON CLASSIC collection, on the other hand, will especially appeal to customers who appreciate art, avant-garde, and boutique fashion. This collection was inspired by the style of Hollywood divas of the 1920s and 1930s. A very long line runs along the entire body, and geometric shapes are emphasized, which are reflective of the trends of the time.
Konrad Szafirowski explains that the style of each collection is determined by its idea and target audience.
The composition must be coherent and should convey a particular message to the audience. If a person passes by a store window and sees a mannequin dressed in the style they identify with, the chances of them entering the store increase
– says CEO MORE Mannequins.
Realistic or abstract? Elegant or extravagant? Our approach to selecting mannequin styles
We start working on the details once we have a general idea and a target group in mind. As we have already mentioned, the details are an important factor to consider when assessing our project’s quality. In order to do this, we constantly monitor the macro and micro trends, not only in fashion but also in design and art. In our product, we express them through forms and materials, for example. Due to our concern for the environment, we use natural and biodegradable materials, like rice glue and paper.
Here, we come to the point where we need to characterize our vision. Initially, we start by conceptualizing the presented poses, shapes, or the overall style (abstraction or realism, or a combination of the two). For these aspects to be determined, it is necessary to provide data from previous steps that relate to the prepared persona on the basis of the target group and an in-depth analysis of trends. An oval face, long and slender limbs, and bold poses – their use is not accidental, but preceded by insightful thoughts.
A tremendous contribution of technology to designing mannequins
Using modern technology, we create mannequin designs and prototypes. A photogrammetric system performs this task, in which a device containing over a hundred cameras takes several photos of the same object simultaneously from different angles in one second. A system takes pictures of the models at the same time as they present specific poses on the runway. The photos can then be converted into a 3D character model by a graphic artist, allowing for an extremely precise mapping of the anatomy of the human body.
3D printing is done after several poses have been collected (depending on the collection, it can be between 3 and 15 poses). Initially, we print 20 cm tall figures that are reduced in size. Using them as a basis, we evaluate if the results meet our expectations – each one should reflect our guiding principle. When we need to make changes to a figure, we place them on the design and print it again until all of the corrections are approved. Then we officially complete the design stage and begin mass production.
The mannequins are designed to tell a story, which is later presented in shops or galleries. The display items and their overall appearance should coordinate with each other and express feelings and thoughts that allow the target audience to identify with them. One perfect example is the ICON collection, which uses repetitive gestures and mannerisms. A theatrically extended hand or a specific sitting position evokes specific associations in the viewer, making the whole stylization of the mannequin more captivating with its form
– concludes Konrad Szafirowski at the end.