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Long Tall Sally creates mannequin based on 3D scan of actual customer

Lauretta Roberts
29 September 2016

Long Tall Sally has employed 3D technology to create its first mannequin based on the body an actual customer, Harriet Winters from London who is a size 14.

The retailer specialises in fashion for women who are 5ft 8in and over and prides itself on creating clothes that fit properly and proportionally on a taller figure. It therefore wanted to create a figure that was atypical for a standard "fashion" mannequin.

To keep its customers' fit and design needs at the forefront, it set out to create a mannequin that reflected the actual shape of a "real woman", combined with the facial likeness of one of its customers. The result is a 3D-printed mannequin that will be used in its London design studio for regular fittings and size-checks.

Long Tall Sally CEO Andrew Shapin said the mannequin was "an industry first". "We're now able to see what our collections will look like on a mannequin created from the exact likeness of one of our customers, which is incredibly exciting," he said. "Our talented designers pay special attention to the particular fit that taller women need, so bringing a customer, like Harriet, to the heart of this process will be invaluable."

Long Tall Sally

Harriet Winters and the mannequin she inspired

To create the mannequin Long Tall Sally took a 3D scan of Winters' entire body and mapped the scan to create a blueprint that matches the measurements and curves of the subject. Once it was divided into sections, similar to those of an in-store mannequin, it was crafted into a solid figure using foam and resin.

The fashion retail industry typically uses a mannequin that stands around 5ft 9in and wears a UK size 8, measuring 34in in the chest, 24in in the waist, and 34in in the hips. Previously Long Tall Sally had to special order mannequins for its in-store displays at 6ft tall and size 12 to fit the brand's sample size. The new mannequin stands at 6ft and wears a size 14, measuring 38in, 31in and 40in.

As part of the project Long Tall Sally has created a video charting the history of the mannequin with fashion expert and historian Julie Rowe.

"The mannequin has always adapted with fashion, and new digital technologies have seen the industry embrace cutting-edge and dynamic forms – such as holograms and mannequins that move," said Rowe. "The 3D scanning of a customer meets the new demand of consumers that are looking for a more 'real' reflection of themselves in their shopping experience, as well as a more inclusive and forward-thinking fashion industry."

Of the mannequin for which she modelled, Winters said. "To me, most mannequins in stores look so similar and don't always reflect real body shapes. I'm proud of my figure, and it's really powerful to see a mannequin with the dimensions of a real woman."

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