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Model Behavior With Sharon Quinn: Mannequin Modeling, 1/01/2008
Mannequin Modeling by Sharon Quinn
Happy New Year Everyone!

When I was first given this assignment I thought it would actually be a breeze to write.  As I "googled" "Mannequin Modeling" to get as much information as possible, I quickly realized that I had my work cut out for me because there appeared to be some confusion as to what "Mannequin Modeling" really is.  So I put out some feelers to my model friends in the industry and the feedback was truly interesting.
Mannequin modeling, also known as "Freeze" modeling, is defined as:
"Learning how to be so stationary, that people are not sure if you are really real. Generally used for store windows or for an event to draw people in, the human model poses as a lifelike mannequin and may make subtle movements to attract onlookers and draw curiosity."

The trend began in the mid 1970s, when Abraham & Straus' Flagship Store which was located in Downtown Brooklyn, put Mannequin modeling on the map. Linda Timmins, head of the division at the time, selected one juvenile and one ingénue with "The Editorial Look" from each of the high schools across the Brooklyn and Manhattan areas. These "Mannequin Models" would pose for up to an hour at a time in the windows of the store as "Living Mannequins" wearing classic designer clothes to the fashions of the day designed by Nik Nik and Pierre Cardin. The living mannequins in the windows became and instant smash and eventually the store had to stop live mannequin modeling in their front store windows as the crowds became so large that they would stop traffic and it (the crowds) became a safety hazard.  Ultimately, Abraham & Straus eventually had to restrict their living mannequins to model INSIDE their flagship store or face stiff penalties from the City of New York.  But the ploy worked even with the models inside...the crowds would come every season to see them.  But like all good things...the trend began to fade somewhat in the mid eighties with the rise of the "Supermodel".



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