New York City has always had the most intriguing storefronts. American Apparel rocked the boat this Valentine’s Day with the use of mannequins with pubic hair and now, lingerie giant, La Perla, is embroiled in a mannequin fiasco of its own. This past Sunday, the Italian brand received a large amount of backlash from social media after a user tweeted a photo of the shockingly thin mannequin on Twitter. Unfortunately, the pin-thin physique is nothing new to our New York fashion photographers. Unhealthy body ideals still rule the fashion world.
La Perla has removed the rib-protruding mannequins and issued the follow statement, “The mannequin photographed has been removed from the store and will not be used again by any La Perla boutique”. The lingerie brand explains, “We are in the process of redesigning all La Perla stores with a new concept image and the mannequins that are currently displayed in our US stores will no longer be used. We appreciate and value everyone’s comments, thank you for bringing this to our attention”. The lingerie retailer is not the first brand to receive backlash for its too thin mannequins. Fashion brands, Gap, Zara and JC Penney have also received criticism for its ultra slim mannequins. Renown blogger, Cora, of The Lingerie Addict, also spoke out about the La Perla controversy on facebook, saying, “There’s nothing inherently offensive about a ribcage. Some women have visible rib cage…There’s a very wide range of “healthy” and “normal” for women’s bodies. Some women are on the thin side. Some women are on the thick side”. She adds, “I wish that, instead of removing the mannequins entirely, La Perla saw this as an opportunity to diversify the sizes of the mannequins they use in their stores. There’s nothing wrong with having a thin mannequin. But there is a problem when ALL the mannequins are thin. Turning this conversation into a war on ribcages completely misses the point”.
Our NY Fashion photography team feels the same way. One of our NYC commercial fashion photography clients, Crème Bralee of QT Intimates, uses a broad array of shapes and sizes to advertise its lingerie designs. All shapes and sizes are beautiful and should not be put down in a favor of another silhouette. Hopefully, La Perla will learn from this incident and embraces a diversity of sizes for its New York storefront.