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If you walk past Debenhams on London’s Oxford Street in the next few days, you might spot something a bit unusual. They’ve just added two size 16 mannequins to the display, with a board below reading “I’m a size 16. Do you want to see more of me?”
This is part of a trial by the retailer to see if customers would like to see these mannequins rolled out across more stores. Traditionally, Debenhams use size 10 models, but with 42% of sales coming from size 14 and 16 garments, these new mannequins represent the average customer far more.
Launching this trial is a savvy move on Debenhams part, particularly on the eve of London Fashion Week when everyone’s eyes are on the fashion industry. Far from being shoved into a specialist 16+ range, the mannequins wear the new Principles by Ben de Lisi range, which has had loads of press recently and is one of the store’s key collections.
Hopefully, if enough of us give positive feedback, the mannequins will become a permanent fixture across the country.
If that happens, I’d love to see them continue this good work and add some other sizes to the mix in the future. As much as I think this is a fantastic move forward, I don’t think you can truly represent British women just by adding a couple of plus size mannequins to all those size 10s. How about some petite models, some size 12s and so on? Let’s really push for diversity and a true representation of who is shopping on the UK high street.
[photo via the Debenhams Flickr page]