Valentino's supports Equalities Minister's decision to use greater choice of mannequins in high street stores

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Plus size and petite mannequins to be displayed in a bid to promote healthier body images

There really is no one-size-fits-all solution, and the retail industry is slowly but surely evolving with the changes.

In a bid to advocate body confidence amongst women across the UK, Equalities Minister, Jo Swinson, is arguing that the streamline mannequins adorning shop windows do not offer a true representation of women’s body shapes.

A spokesperson for Valentino’s said: “In just over a decade, the average British woman’s dress size has gone from a 12 to a 16 - however, shops generally tend to use size 10 mannequins to display the clothing.”

“But as society becomes more accepting of other cultures and embraces advancements in ideologies, so we should expand the choices on offer. There really is no one-size-fits-all solution, and the retail industry is slowly but surely evolving with the changes.”

Speaking in The Sunday Times, Swinson explained: “The images we see in the world of fashion are all pretty much the same – it’s as if there’s only one way of being beautiful.”

Major brands such as Miss Selfridge and Topshop predominantly showcase size 10 dummies, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins use size 10-12 while Evans typically exhibits size 16 mannequins.

The Equalities Minister advocated Debenhams for its wide range of mannequins and models – with the company’s Oxford Street store gearing up to demonstrate a selection of size 16 dummies, and its summer catalogue featuring two models aged over 40, one over 60, a Paralympic athlete and an amputee.

Swinson said: “I would really like to see more retailers doing the same. Many customers want to see more realistic images in magazines, TV and on the high street, and having mannequins that reflect and celebrate our diverse society is a really positive way of helping to achieve this.”

Topshop fell out of public favour a couple of years ago, after advertising an extremely underweight-looking model on its homepage.

Spokesman for the British Retail Consortium, John Munro, said that many UK retailers were working as hard as they could to encourage positive body morale.

He said: “This can involve using a diverse range of mannequins and models, but also covers practical examples such as ensuring clothing is available in a wide range of sizes and offering advice in-store and online on figure-flattering clothes for customers that request it.”

“Ultimately, individual retailers decide what approach to take based on their customers’ feedback and preferences.”

For a great range of mannequins – whatever the shape and size – visit the UK’s leading supplier of shop fittings, Valentino’s; and treat customers to an enticing customer display today.

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Mariel Norton
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