Designing Mannequins and Finding Inspiration: Interview with MORE Specialist
Imagine creating a new color. A shade completely unlike any you already know. Not an easy task, is it? The most challenging aspect of art is abstract thinking, which means breaking free from established patterns to create something entirely new. And designing mannequins is an art that demands creativity and daring in proposing innovative solutions. Why does the ICON series feature elongated body lines and oval faces, while the NEXT line is characterized by distinct nose, lip, and eye contours? Read the article with statements from Konrad Szafirowski and learn how we design mannequins and where we draw inspiration!
The First Steps: The Strength of an Experienced Team
While envisioning a new color might be impossible, designing a new line of mannequins is within reach. It all starts with an idea and a vision, which we then shape by creating sketches and drawings. Several members of our team are involved in the conceptual work. These include:
- Art Director - responsible for trend research and directing design work;
- Visual Merchandisers;
- 3D Designers;
Why is the creative team at MORE Mannequins so extensive? Konrad Szafirowski, CEO of MORE Mannequins, explains:
"Studies show that retailers presenting their products in store windows have only 2-3 seconds to capture the customer's attention. If the viewer subconsciously feels intrigued, the chances of them entering the store increase. The same goes for the styling of mannequins, which should encourage purchases. Small details determine the final result, so in designing our products, every detail matters."
Mannequins Also Communicate - Not with Words, but with Their Entire Being!
How does our design team work to give shape to visions? In the initial stages, we focus on defining the target group. This is crucial because a new collection must have a guiding theme and style that viewers can identify with
In human relationships, non-verbal communication is very important. Our gestures, facial expressions, and postures are sometimes more significant than the words we speak. The same goes for mannequins - although they don't speak or move, their appearance, posture, and style engage in a silent dialogue with customers.
The ICON line will particularly appeal to customers who love art, avant-garde, and boutique fashion. The positions and style were inspired by the Hollywood divas of the 1920s and 30s. The entire body line is very elongated and characterized by geometric shapes, reminiscent of trends from that era.
As Konrad Szafirowski explains, the style of each collection is justified by the idea and the target group:
"The overall composition must be coherent and should convey a specific message to the recipient. When a passerby sees a mannequin with an outfit in a style they identify with, the chances that they'll want to explore the store's offerings increase."
Abstraction or Realism? Elegance or Extravagance? How We Decide on the Style of Mannequins
Once we have the main idea and the target group in mind, we begin working on the details. As mentioned, these are extremely important for the quality of our project. To achieve this, we constantly analyze current trends in both macro and micro contexts - not only in fashion but also in design and art. We interpret them in our product, for example, in the form and materials used. In these environmentally conscious times, we use natural and biodegradable materials, such as rice glue or paper.
At this point, we move to the stage where we need to give our vision the appropriate character. We begin conceptual work on the displayed poses in a given collection, shapes, or final style (abstraction, realism, or their combination). To determine these aspects, information from previous steps is essential, which relates to the personas prepared based on the target group and a thorough analysis of trends. Oval faces, long and slender limbs, bold poses - their application is not random but preceded by thoughtful consideration.
Invaluable Technological Support in Mannequin Design
We create the design and prototype of the mannequin using modern technology. We use a photogrammetric system for this, which is a device consisting of over a hundred cameras that take pictures of a given object from various angles in one second. We work with models presenting specific poses on the runway, while the system takes photos of them. This way, the photos can be converted by a graphic designer into a 3D character model, allowing for incredibly precise replication of human anatomy.
After gathering models in several positions (depending on the collection, it can range from 3 to 15 positions), we proceed to their 3D printing. Initially, we print miniature figures, which are about 20 cm tall. Based on them, we verify whether the result meets our expectations - each of them is meant to convey our guiding idea. If a specific figurine requires adjustments, we make them on the design and print it again until all are approved by us. This officially marks the end of the design phase, and we move on to mass production.
"Each line of mannequins tells a story, which is later presented in stores or galleries. The positions of the displays and their overall appearance must harmonize with each other and express the feelings and thoughts that will allow them to be identified with by the target group. An ideal example is the ICON collection, where manners and gestures are repeated. A theatrically extended hand or a specific seated position evoke specific associations in viewers - and this makes the entirety of the outfit presented by the mannequin capture attention through its form," Konrad Szafirowski adds in conclusion.