By Official Disney Store Blogger, Aug 05, 2011 9:00 AM
Have you heard the buzz? There’s been talk about our mannequins. They aren’t your average, standing mannequins; they each have a personality -- you can find them flying, playing and even curtsying! Who knew a mannequin could appear like they are about to take off in flight, shouting “To infinity and beyond!?”
You might ask, “Who came up with the idea for these new mannequins?” Like anything Disney, there is a story behind our mannequins. Our innovative Visual Merchandising team felt a little spunk and fun could be injected into the mannequins. Using their creativity and lots of brainstorming, they produced mannequins that capture children’s ultimate play-time moments. To learn more about the brains behind the project, we met with our Visual Merchandising team members, Bob and Donna.
Hi guys! First, can you please share a little about what you do here at Disney Store?
Bob: I am the Senior Manager of Visual Creative, so essentially my role is to work with the Visual Merchandising team to come up with designs for how our products are presented and displayed in the store. We play with different product displays to make them more fun, interactive and shopping friendly for our guests.
Donna: Over the last 3 years, I’ve had the privilege of leading the Visual Merchandising team through several of the most exciting projects in Disney Store’s history including the newly designed stores, the opening of our location in Times Square, and now I’m working on Disney Baby! I will support the Visual Merchandising team for these exciting new stores that will feature exclusive assortments for infants and toddlers.
So, there’s been a lot of buzz about these mannequins with personality. NPR says, “The idea behind the new mannequins is to show children in real and imaginary play poses.” Can you please tell us a little about the inspiration behind the designs and why you feel it necessary to add more personality to the mannequins?
Bob: We wanted the design to capture the whimsy and imagination that is inherent in the new store design. We were given the freedom think out of the box when approaching the design. So we had several companies bid on the design and come to the table with their vision of what the mannequins could be. Fusion, mannequin maker from Colorado really embodied all that we were looking for, and we decided to choose them to partner with on the project. We used the images from a live photo shoot as inspiration, and worked with Fusion’s sculptors to hand sculpt each mannequin to be totally unique, and totally Disney. We wanted action poses as well as sweet moments. We then finished them in a wood grain to complement with the in store color palette.
Wow! I think you really did capture those special details. What’s your favorite part about working at Disney Store?
Bob: I love working for a company with such rich legacy, tradition, and creativity. It is always fun, busy, and never the same two days in a row.
Donna: My favorite part about working at Disney Store is being part of the Disney brand experience and our storytelling tradition! Knowing I have a hand in ensuring consistent branding and guest experience across our locations is thrilling to me.
Lastly, who’s your favorite Disney character?
Bob: I have two...Pluto, and Cruella de Vil. It depends on how I feel that day, lol!
Donna: My all-time favorite Disney character is Lady from Lady and the Tramp, a special childhood memory. Growing up my family had a dognamed Jock, and I thought he knew Lady because he seemed to know all the songs when we played together. I love Boo from Monsters, Inc.; her giggle is contagious and it's so sweet how attached she is to "Kitty" a.k.a Sully.
Buzz Lightyear Role Play Costume on our “Buzz Mannequin”
Tinker Bell Role Play Costume on “Balloon Girl”
Cars apparel on our "Running and Jumping Boys"
Cinderella Role Play Costume on "Princess Girl"
Thank you, Bob and Donna! Make sure you take a look for yourselves by visiting a newly designed Disney Store . To find a location go to DisneyStore.com/storelocator. Stay tuned for news on more locations featuring our new design opening soon!