Harriet Winters is from London; she is a statuesque 6’0 tall and wears a size 10, and from today she is due to be immortalised by LongTallSally, the fashion chain which exclusively caters for tall women.
A lifesize 3D printed model of Harriet will be installed at the London Design Studio where it will be used by the company’s design team to ensure their “designs fit properly and proportionally on the dimensions of a real woman.”
Long Tall Sally’s CEO has called it an “industry first”, commenting; “ 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,”
“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.”
The mannequin is the product of the latest in 3D scanning and printing technology; Winters was asked to undergo a complete body scan by a 3D machine which subsequently mapped a blueprint measuring the exact same proportions as its model subject.
The design is then divided into sections and “crafted into a solid figure using foam and resin.”
Standard in-store mannequin tend to measure around 5ft 9’, wearing a US size 4, 34” chest, 24” in the waist and 34” at the hips; Long Tall Sally’s new “real-life” mannequins is 6ft 0’, wears a size 10 and measures 38” – 31”-40”.
The fashion industry expert June Rowe, an accomplished mannequin historian, says that ” new digital technologies have seen the industry embrace cutting-edge and dynamic forms – such as holograms and mannequins that move;”
“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.”
Harriet Winters herself, who also helped a participated in a video of the mannequin building process, 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.”
The mannequin even bears the same facial features as Mrs Winters.
Long Tall Sally Acquired By Long Term Investment Partner TriStyle, owned by Equistone Partners Private Equity
Last week, Amery Capital announced that they would be selling Long Tall Sally to TriStyle Mode GmbH, backed by Equistone Partners Europe for £30 million pounds.
TriStyle is a German direct fashion retailer which operates the Peter Hahn and Madeleine brands across Europe, which was itself acquired by Equistone last year.
Long Tall Sally will continue to operate independently from its East London premises, where it is led by Andrew Shaplin, according to PE Hub.
Shaplin said “Our team, with the backing of Amery Capital, has transformed LTS from a £10 million UK retailer to an international, fast growing, profitable, digitally led £50 million (€60m, $68m) sales p.a. omni-channel business, with c.70% of sales online.”
Maurice Helfgott is chairman of both Amery Capital and Long Tall Sally. “I am very pleased to remain with the business as Chairman, and to reinvest with Andrew in TriStyle alongside such accomplished professional investors Equistone Partners Europe”, he said.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to continue to accelerate our growth around the world with the backing of one of Europe’s leading direct to consumer fashion businesses.”
Michael Bork Partner of Equistone and Head of the Advisory Board of TriStyle said, “I think Long Tall Sally, Andrew, Maurice and the team are wonderful and am excited and confident about their future together with TriStyle.”
Advisors to the deal included BDO, Blick Rothenberg, Berwin Leighton Paisner, KPMG and others.
Long Tall Sally was founded in 1975 by 6ft tall Judy Rich, the first store opening in the West End of London, and say their mission is to be “the first choice in fashion for tall women worldwide.”
The company also say that around 70% of their revenues are derived from its ecommerce websites; it has 10 stores in London, 7 in Canada, 4 in the US and 5 in Germany.