Back in July the Coin department store in Milan used live mannequins for a promotion. This is not a new thing, back in 2009 live mannequins were used in NYC’s fashion week. And the Fifth Ave Abercrombie and Fitch store frequently has models at the entrance of their store. But in Milan the use of live mannequins was criticized by Italy’s trade union as being the merchandisation of the human body. The workers responded by holding signs that stated that “modeling is also a job”. We completely agree with them. The difference between being a live mannequin and being in a photo-shoot is a camera. Models choose to go into modeling and their choice should be respected.
Using live mannequins is a creative way to market clothing. In the traditional forms of advertisement the customer is separated from the model. In a usual shopping trip you walk down aisle with the clothes arranged such that you are enticed to buy them, the workers will ask you how they can help you shop, while mannequins stare coldly at you. Live mannequins break this monotony while bringing warmth that a worker cannot. Live mannequins add a human touch to what otherwise is dehumanized shopping experience