Target has made a promise destined to make body diversity advocates (which should be everyone, by the way) very happy campers. The retailer has announced it will introduce size 16 mannequins into stores across Australia, starting today.
Target’s managing director, Stuart Machin, thinks the move is needed to shift perceptions within the industry. “The average customer is a size 14, so it’s baffling that the Australian retail industry still uses a standard size 8 mannequin when we are merchandising product,” he explained.
“We want to change the way Australian retailers represent women, and we hope that these mannequins will help to start a new conversation in the fashion industry, and trigger some change,” he continued.
Target has long shown how serious it is about catering to women of all shapes and sizes, with everything from Dannii Minogue’s petite range to the Belle Curves collection which goes up to size 26.
“The real-sized mannequins will take this commitment to diversity one step further, by helping every-day women to accurately see what clothes will look like on themselves and on a body that they can identify with,” Stuart said.
The first size 16 mannequin will launch in Chadstone today, followed by a roll-out of 49 stores nationwide including Melbourne CBD, Penrith, Chadstone, Bondi, Geelong, Midland, Chermside, Brisbane CBD, Joondalup and Perth. The initiative will see two mannequins per store.
We wonder if everyone will be happy about Target’s decision. We certainly are, but people have been known to get in a tizzy about “plus-size” mannequins in the past.