Debenhams has announced that size 16 mannequins will appear in its windows in a trial to gain feedback from customers to see if they like the idea.
Like most retailers Debenhams currently uses standard size 10 mannequins in all its window displays. However the majority of women in the UK are either a 14 or 16.
Signage next to the mannequins, which will be wearing the recently launched Principles by Ben de Lisi range, will ask customers ‘I’m a size 16, do you want to see more of me?’
Debenhams stocks up to size 26 in its womenswear department, and a huge 42% of sales come from size 14 and 16 garments.
Debenhams Head of Creative, Mark Stevens commented: “We are proud to offer a broad and varied choice for women of all ages, shapes and sizes in store. So we thought we should reflect this in our window displays. If it’s popular with customers we would love to roll it out.”
Susan Ringwood, Chief Executive of charity Beat, which lends help to people with eating disorders and their families, voiced her support for Debenhams’ trial. She said: “Women often feel it is their fault that clothes don’t look as good on them as they do in the shop window, so we congratulate Debenhams on taking this initiative.”
Mark Fast caused waves when he sent size 12 and 14 models down his catwalk last London Fashion Week, and gorgeous size 16 model Crystal Ren has had a huge impact on the fashion industry recently.
The window, which celebrates a realistic interpretation of the British female physique, was unveiled at Debenhams’ Oxford Street branch in February. The size 16 mannequins can be seen in the newly launched Principles by Ben De Lisi window as well. The initiative will be later rolled out across the country, again to get feedback from customers.