I’ve recently returned from my first trip to Euroshop, Düsseldorf, the world’s leading retail trade fair. The show is held every three years and showcases 2,000 exhibitors from more than 50 countries. The focus is on Store Design, Visual Merchandising, Marketing, Retail Technology, Exhibitions and Special Events.

The ‘Messe’ exhibition centre is extremely well organised and clearly sign-posted to deal with high volumes of visitors on a regular basis. Overwhelmed by the size of the show,  I focused on hall 4 which was dedicated to Visual Merchandising.

I’ve always been aware of the use of different styles of mannequins, however I was blown away by the vast array of styles and how innovative and futuristic some mannequins were.

Hans Boodt from the Netherlands had a particularly impressive stand, its dim lit space, secluded from the rest of the show highlighted each of its collections under the spot light. The collections were defined by exposed joints, wigs and a range of different finishes.

A new and emerging trend is the use of interchangeable faces, eyes and lips to personalise the mannequins to fit a brand, the featureless faces create an androgynous look. This was showcased particularly well by Window Mannequins.

More personalisation is evident from Genesis who enhance the character of a brand using bronze finishes, black cat silhouettes and suspended mannequins on theatrical looking swings.

EuroDisplay have accessorised their mannequins with the use of pet dogs on leads, it adds an element of fun to the product.

However, the stand that stood out most for me was SFD who specialise in mannequins, retail design, visual merchandising and shop-fitting. Their stand was interactive, inviting and I particularly enjoyed the jazz band and cream cakes. They showcased their own-brand mannequin ranges using 3D projections to dress them and interactive mirrors.

This all goes to show the ever changing trends and technology in mannequin design that enable retailers to build individual brands and stand out from the crowd.

I was astounded by the show’s standard of presentation and the amount of time that is required to organise a show of this size. I look forward to going again in a another three year’s time!

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