I Do Windows

Findings from around the web: Man 1924, Christian Louboutin, C. Wonder

Posted in Discuss This Display, Fashion Styling, Mannequins, Nonpareil Windows by Arcadia on November 6, 2011

Here are some interesting things I found while perusing the web:

These first photos are from the store Man 1924 in Madrid, the photos are taken by  Scott Schuman of The Satorialist.  I think the store owner does a great job of layering the clothes with different textures and fabrics.  I especially like how they display the pants, much simpler than pulling them on the bust-form.  Dressing bust-forms is far more difficult than mannequins, because you have to create the shape and volume so the clothes don’t lay flat.



Here’s a cool video recently released by Barney’s, it gives you a quick behind the scenes peek on how the Christian Louboutin window’s were created.

Christian Louboutin: Celebrating 20 Years and the Launch of the Book from BARNEY’S NY/ Michelle Chu on Vimeo.



Have you heard or seen the new store C. Wonder?  Entrepreneur Chris Burch, and force behind the Tory Burch brand, has branched out and opened his own lifestyle store!  C. Wonder takes store ambience to a new level.  Each sales associate comes equipped with a iPad for purchases, and you can change the music and lighting in your dressing room!

Here are two types of visuals used to help solidify and brand the image, a cool bus and a beautiful wall mural:

The use of bold and bright colors makes this store look like a really fun place to shop!

The cashwrap does not look like your traditional register area – love it!

I have to admit it looks like Tory Burch meets Kate Spade.  Do you agree?

Great merchandising, this it what your dream closet would look like!

Lots of WOW factor without being too over the top and in your face!  Notice that the store design is simple with a few architectural touches here and there; what is drawing your eye in is the use of color everywhere!

The light fixtures are teapots!

(images via: smallshopstudio.com)

What are you finding around the web?

Louis Vuitton Store Opening

Posted in Mannequins, Retail News by Arcadia on September 29, 2011

Not much to say as I think the photos speak for themselves.  I was wasting time in between correcting assignments when I came across these photos.  They were taken from Chiara Ferragni’s blog, The Blonde Salad.  Her blog is fashion site where she posts photos of her “outfits of the day”, I tried to bypass those and just show you the awesome mannequin stylings of the Louis Vuitton store opening in Montenapoleone, Italy:

That’s Chiara in the middle, this photo would have been so much funnier had she put her bag over her head too!

Where have we seen this before?

I would love to see this store in person!

(images via: The Blonde Salad)

How to dress a mannequin

Posted in Mannequins by Arcadia on August 8, 2011

This post prompted me to do one on dressing mannequins, and to my students it’s actually question #53 on the final (providing I don’t change it).

Before I give my instructions, how about a little challenge:

(taken from the final exam)

53.  Please number from 1 to 8

  • Turn back to upright position
  • Add shoes
  • Finish dressing and styling mannequin
  • Pull on pants and shorts
  • Add the undergarments first if needed
  • All clothing should be pressed or steamed
  • Separate the legs from the torso and turn upside down
  • Slide arms through sleeves, one at a time, and attach to torso

How did you do?

I get a variety of numerical orders for answers, and certainly, the way I dress a mannequin could be slightly different from my co-worker, but some steps you obviously have to do before others.

1.  Make sure all clothing is steamed or pressed.  Remove price tags and re-attach them with your Kimble gun to a less conspicuous place.  Don’t remove them and save them in mannequin clothing book?!?  My old boss used to do that, the tags always ended up lost, and sales people hate that.  Always keep the price tags with the garment, attached through a seam, or the name tag at the back of the garment.

2.  Detach the legs from the torso (or upper body) of the mannequin.  If you’ve never worked with one before, keep in mind mannequins are a tiny bit heavy, and awkward. Twist the torso and pull it up.  Once you have the legs separated, turn them upside down.  You might notice on some mannequins even the legs can be separated from each other, this makes it easier for slipping on pants when you have a mannequin that does an elaborate pose.

3.  Add the undergarments first, if your choice of outfit requires it, such as tights, put on socks too if needed, now pull on the pants or shorts.  Sometimes you can add the shoes at this point too if they will stay securely in place.

4.  Turn the legs back upright and re-attach to the torso.  I also at this point will put it back on its base so it’s standing on its own, fix the pants or shorts.

[What if it’s a skirt or dress?  With the mannequin standing upright on its base.  I remove the arms from the torso and slide garment over the head of the mannequin, then slide the arms through the sleeves if it’s a dress, and re-attach to the torso.]

5.  Detach the arms from the torso, you will notice a seam at the hands too.  Pull the hands off.  Carefully slide the arms through the sleeve of the shirt, then re-attach the arm to the torso.  Do the same with the other side.  Re-attach the hands.

6.  Re-attach the torso to the legs.  Can you put the shirt on with the torso already attached to the legs?  Of course, just remove the arms and separate the hands.

7.  Finish dressing and styling your mannequin, pay attention to detail, keep those garment tags tucked in and out of sight!  View your mannequin from all angles, especially the view your customers are going see.

8.  Add shoes.  I don’t know why, but I always add shoes last.  You don’t have to but I do; with the mannequin secured on its base I grab a coworker to slightly lift my manny while I slide on the shoes.

This was a quick and easy rundown of dressing a mannequin.  I have even been known to completely lay my manny on a table and dress it that way – whatever gets the job done!

Points to remember:

  • Don’t dress your mannequin on the sales floor.  Take it to the studio or a back room.  Don’t ask me why, but customers get offended at the sight of a naked manny!
  • Make sure your manny is clean and dust free.  Wipe it down if needed before dressing it.
  • The limbs ARE NOT interchangeable with other mannequins.
  • Don’t re-paint the face of your mannequin yourself, leave it to the professionals who specialize in this.

Feel free to share your tips!

Tagged with:

My Pet Peeve!

Posted in Discuss This Display, Mannequins by Arcadia on August 4, 2011

This week I’ve actually been researching US retailers that have recently opened up store oversees (i.e Forever 21) and how more and more of them are doing so.  While perusing the various sites I came across this photo by a fashion blogger who was being shown around a particular showroom:

Who can tell me what’s wrong with this picture?  It’s one of my biggest pet peeves, next to garbage being left by displays!  It only takes seconds to fix and anyone can do it.  Every morning on my walk-thru I would go around fixing this on displays.

If I were an owner who is letting a fashion blogger take photos of my designs for their site, I would want everything shown at it’s best!

I am putting my “US retailers oversees” story on hold and I’ve just been inspired to do my next post on dressing mannequins!

Store Study: BeBe

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on April 18, 2011

This week’s store study assignment is by Lisa G.  I’ve featured Lisa’s reviews before, and I do like to post other student’s work, but Lisa does a really great job of analyzing a store from a visual merchandiser’s point of view.

BeBe, San Francisco Westfield Mall

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

Overall this store’s design doesn’t really tell me that the designer or visual merchandiser cares about the product they are selling. Nothing to me is really appealing about this store. This Bebe store and many others makes me think that very little time goes into creating an experience that one should feel when they walk into a store.

Describe the store’s target customer?

I think the store’s target customer is one that likes to dress a little bit more on the sexier side. As for age range Bebe probably caters to late teens to early to mid 20s.  A lot of the clothing is on the tighter side so I would say their target woman is one who also likes to show off their curves.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

No, everything about this store is a mess. A lot of the merchandise is displayed on racks. They don’t really have any clothing on shelves or in cases. Their jewelry is hung on a jewelry rolling piece pretty much in the center of the store. They do a lot of color blocking in this store. All the whites are together, peaches, black, etc.

Is it stocked pile or more minimalist?

I would say it is somewhere in the middle. It is definitely not minimalistic but also not stock piled. I would say they have a few sizes of each different piece

Do the fixtures suit the store environment?

They have a table in the store that has a mannequin placed on the top of it and then benches going around the table. On the benches they have jeans draped over the side. This display is not done well at all because the display looks like it was thrown together and the jeans are also touching the floor.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

Yes, they have a lot of lighting in this store but it is almost too bright. I think they need to dim the lighting a little bit because it actually hurts my eyes. I think it probably seems a bit brighter because in the corridor of the Westfield mall it is not that bright and then you walk into this store and the brightness is almost an over kill.

How is color used in the store?

Whenever I think of Bebe I think of colorful tight clothing and as I mentioned above they do a lot of color blocking in the store. Color is definitely shown in their merchandise. Besides using color for their clothing there really isn’t any other color in the store and the walls are very simple, white and plain.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

These window displays are awful and do not draw me into their store. Now that I’ve reviewed a few stores I realize just how unappealing the Bebe stores are to the public. Based upon their window display one knows they are having a sale. Yet, in the window display I think they added way to many mannequins in the window to advertise their sale. However, I do like the use of levels in this display. In their other panel they have six mannequins and then a poster with two models on it all being shown over 3 panels. I really don’t even know where to focus on this window display. I know in class we learned it is always better to have an odd number of mannequins yet in this one there are 6 mannequins and a poster board with two additional models. To me it does not seems like the visual merchandiser spent a lot of time on creating a great window.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

Here are my changes:

1.     Window display – Instead of having 6 mannequins and a poster of two models I would have three models gathered together and pointing to a sign that said Sale. The models would be dressed in typical Bebe attire since their goal is to sell their merchandise.

2.     The store itself is so dirty. The bare white walls are not appealing. To add some more color to the store I would paint the wall behind the cash wrap a bright color at least to add some differentiation. I would also hang a very large painting or mirror behind the cash wrap.

3.     Shelving. They should include some shelving in this store and fold some of the clothing instead of having it all on racks or table displays.

4.     In class we learned to put your most expensive and new items up front and then your sale items near the back. Walking into this Bebe store I could not tell what was new or their gold merchandise. I would change the layout of this store and maybe have the cash wrap in a different area. Off to the side instead of right in the middle.

Thanks Lisa for another great assignment!

Mannequin Madness in Oakland, CA

Posted in Mannequins, Retail News by Arcadia on February 24, 2011

A while ago I was contacted by a retailer who sells and rents used mannequins.  Well, I’m just getting around to checking out their website and must say WOW!  There is a plethora of information on there all about mannequins.

Judi Townsend is the proprietor of Mannequin Madness in Oakland, CA. It is a 1300 square foot warehouse of all types of mannequins and dress forms.  Take a look at some of the merchandise they have to offer, especially if you are just opening a store, because new mannequins can be incredibly expensive.  Students this is a great way to purchase mannequins or dress forms for class projects, or to build up your own inventory for your freelance business.

My favorite part is she is also “green” business owner.  She recycles mannequins from retailers for FREE when they close or remodel their store.  What a service!

I’m glad Judi contacted me, I love finding valuable resources nearby.  If you do happen to purchase something, tell them you are a CCSF student in my class and she will offer you a 15% discount.

(image via: Business Life) <—-click on the link for a great article on Judi!


Make-up and Mannequins

Posted in Inspiration, Mannequins by Arcadia on August 28, 2010

Why have I uploaded this striking advertisement from Christian Dior cosmetics?

Because I think this is a look that can easily be replicated on a mannequin, without causing any damage to the mannequin’s face.

If you work in a store where you have mannequins that have been made to look like they are in full face make-up, it would be best not to try to change the face paint.  My students tell me all the time, how old and beat up their “models” will begin to look over the years, and I agree; but doing what we in the industry call a “renovation” on a mannequins face is a skilled trade.  I still catch the occasional student applying paint to their mannequin’s face with disastrous results!  I think the advert above is clever way to do something interesting with the face for a S/S campaign or a make-up display as they have shown here.

You can copy this idea or it may inspire you to come up with something clever of your own.

Models or Mannequins

Posted in Inspiration by Arcadia on August 20, 2010

Are these models or mannequins?


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