AP, November 12, 2004
J.Lo and Beyonce can take another bow. The booty-shaking stars have shaped the newest generation of mannequins, with hundreds of well-rounded plastic backsides appearing in shop windows across New York.
Bootylicious figures clad in tight low-rise jeans have spilled from the city’s street fashion stores into more established labels.
“It’s absolutely the trend,” said Dwight Critchfield, creative director for mannequin firm Goldsmith.
“These mannequins look great, and there is a real sex appeal about them.”
The recent pop culture fixation on large bottoms has been around since at least 1992, when rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot scored a hit with “Baby Got Back.”
But some credit the recent booty shakin’ efforts of shapely stars Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce for the fresh emphasis on bigger and rounder posteriors, coupled with the fashion explosion of the Brazilian-style low-rise jeans.
“J.Lo was the first to stress that women shouldn’t be afraid to show their curves, and the popularity of rap made that shape more acceptable,” said Critchfield. “And it is about these low-riding jeans looking good on a sexy, tight fit.”
The company launched a “Sex” mannequin with “a larger booty and body” tailored for fashion label Express and for stores carrying lower-end trend clothing, said Critchfield.
On the juniors’ floor of Macy’s in Manhattan, Guess jeans and streetwear label EckoRed display jeans on a fuller rear-end bottom-half mannequin, known as a pants form, opposite a large poster of J.Lo and her clothing label, while a DJ mixes hip hop and reggae to teen and 20-something shoppers.
EckoRed launched the new mannequin — called the J.Lo butt form — at the store almost two years ago and sales have since tripled.
“It is a serious sociological trend that is positive for retailers and customers in that the tyranny of the undernourished perfect model is over,” said Rich Rollison of Lifestyle Forms and Display, which designed the pants form mannequin.
Other companies also are developing more realistic mannequins with larger posteriors in maternity and plus sizes.
US label Lane Bryant, which caters to plus sizes 14 to 28, is launching a more voluptuous full-body mannequin across its 250 stores after a successful test run in New York.
“It originated from urban ethnic street wear, but it has transcended that,” Rollison said. “Now you are going to see it projected in more urban markets and it will get bigger.”