Hans Boodt Mannequins has opened a new pop-up showroom in London’s Soho, a stone’s thrown from Piccadilly Circus. Set within a building housing all manner of creative studios, the light-filled space features exposed brick walls and wooden flooring. Initially, the plan was to keep the showroom open until mid-October, but this period has been extended (no closing date has been set).
We took the opportunity to speak to Wendy Ouwerkerk, marketing and communications manager, about the latest mannequin trend and how the Dutch company has responded to it.
How has Hans Boodt Mannequins reacted to the gender-neutral trend, and what’s your take on it?
Every year, the marketing department develops a trend forecast that we use for inspiration and trend guidance. In collaboration with the different departments, we plan and decide on new collections, campaign photography, showroom interpretation and so on. The trend forecast of 2017 centered on fading boundaries, equality, and creating new states of mind across areas such as age, season, gender and identity. This resulted in our new collection: Creating Characters.
Please tell us more about the collection.
The title is particularly fitting as it’s actually Hans Boodt Mannequins’ tagline, representing exactly what this diverse group stands for. Within this collection, we’ve incorporated different ages, cultures and gender-neutral characters. We wanted to show the world that we’re aware of cultural shifts and what’s going on in the world. The direction of travel chimes with our values: rebellious, young, inspiring, innovative and Dutch.
How have your clients reacted to the collection and campaign, and how are you able to support their individual needs?
We’ve had a lot of positive reactions in regard to our Creating Characters campaign. It highlights–besides gender neutral and equality issues–the return of more realistic mannequins. We have a huge advantage in that we’re able to design and develop new concepts from scratch in our in-house 3D Design Studio. In a matter of a few hours, any idea a customer may have can be visualized, ready to be discussed and developed further. We always strive to accommodate our customers, creating anything they have in mind–while always adhering to our morals and norms, celebrating inclusivity.