Saturday 16 December 2017

Topshop ditches ‘ridiculously shaped’ mannequins after complaint goes viral

The high street fashion brand has agreed to stop using unrealistically tall and skinny mannequins Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
The high street fashion brand has agreed to stop using unrealistically tall and skinny mannequins Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

David Kearns

Fashion retailer Topshop has agreed to stop using "unrealistically proportioned" mannequins after a customer's complaint about their "ridiculous" shape attracted thousands of supporters.

The high street fashion brand agreed to stop using unrealistically tall and skinny mannequins after the complaint went viral on Facebook.

Laura Berry posted a photograph of a mannequin used in a Topshop store in Bristol in the UK, slamming the "ridiculous" shape, and asked the store to consider the "impression you have on women and young girls".

She wrote: "This mannequin is quite frankly ridiculously-shaped. Young women aspire to the somewhat cult image your store offers. Which I'm sure you're aware by your sales figures and hashtags on Instagram.

"Yet not one mannequin in your store showed anything bigger than a size 6.

"In fact I'm not even sure the one in the picture is even that. So today, I'm calling you out Topshop, on your lack of concern for a generation of extremely body conscious youth.

Dear Topshop, having been paid yesterday, I decided to spoil myself by purchasing a new pair of my favourite Jamie...

Posted by Laura Kate Berry on Wednesday, 22 July 2015

"I'm old enough and wise enough to know I will never be this size, but as we've all been impressionable teens at one point, I'm fairly certain if any of us were to witness this in our teenage years, it would have left us wondering if that was what was expected of our bodies."

Ms Berry, from Gloucestershire, was shopping for a pair of jeans but used her "size 10/12 legs to walk straight out of your store" when she saw them on the mannequin.

Her post attracted more than 3,000 likes and hundreds of comments.

"To be honest, I'm sure many clever, strong and beautiful women of any age are made to feel insecure by your mannequins and advertisements.

"Numerous studies have been carried out on the effect of unrealistic mannequins in stores and numerous stories have been shared in the media too.

"So what makes you feel you can ignore everything that's been said and considered by other high street stores and even some high fashion designers?

She questioned: "What makes you so superior Topshop?

"Perhaps it's about time you became responsible for the impression you have on women and young girls and helped them feel good about themselves rather than impose these ridiculous standards."

Topshop said the model was based on a size 10, but admitted it had been 'tailored' to give it a more stylise look and agreed not to order it again.

A spokesperson said: "The overall height (187cm) is taller than the average girl and the form is stylised to have more impact in store.

"As the mannequins are solid fibreglass, their form needs to be of certain dimensions to allow clothing to be put on and removed easily; this is therefore not meant to be a representation of the average female body.

"That said, we have taken yours and other customers' opinions and feedback on board and going forward we are not placing any further orders on this style of mannequin.

"The views of our customers are extremely valuable and we apologise if we have not lived up to the levels of service that we aim to deliver."

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