Plus Size International Fashion News: UK Retailer Debenhams Puts Plus Size Mannequins In Their Store
This week, UK retailer Debenhams launched plus size mannequins on the floor of their Oxford Street store, making them the first High Street retailer to do so. The mannequins are a UK size 16, which is a US 14, and will be shown alongside their standard size 10 mannequins on the women’s clothing floors. They eventually plan to have plus size mannequins in all of their 170 stores in the UK over the next few months.
Yes! Debenhams continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the retail industry by taking steps to embrace a different and more real marketing approach to their customers. They have previously vowed to stop using airbrushed models in their campaigns and recently, even launched a lookbook where they used plus size models and models with disabilities.
Apparently, the powers that be at Debenhams have been working on this project for ten years. Debenhams director Ed Watson told Time Magazine:
“We hope that it will help people in some small way to feel comfortable about their bodies and, crucially, that other retailers will follow.”
There’s a strong chance that other retailers will follow suit since the average British woman is now a size 16 and because of that, Britain’s Equalities Minister Jo Swinson has begun her own government drive to promote body confidence called Campaign For Body Confidence. We reported back in September how she was calling all retailers on High Street to display plus size and petite mannequins in their windows and store. You can find that report here.
Jo Swinson was there for the mannequin unveiling and thinks it is a step in the right direction towards promoting a positive shopping experience that will boost body confidence.
“Recent research found that women are three times more likely to buy clothes when the fashion models are their size, so I hope more retailers will recognize that meeting customer demand for more diversity makes good business sense.” (source: Huffington Post)
Here’s some images of Jo Swinson posing with the Debenhams plus size mannequins (click on the image to see full size):