Swiss Ad Agency Crafts Mannequins After the Disabled [Video]

Swiss Ad Agency Crafts Mannequins After the Disabled [Video]

This touching campaign led a group of physically disabled people to see themselves differently, with the hope that others will too.

Rachel Pincus
  • 9 december 2013

In the ongoing debate over how the media shapes body image, surprisingly little ink has been spilled over the issue of mannequins. These pale, de-individualized figures quietly and insidiously represent normality despite being so exaggeratedly thin and distorted that clothes usually have to be pinned back on them. The 99.5% of us who don’t need our clothes pinned back found some solace in the Dove Real Bodies campaign in 2004, but attempting to better represent the bodies of the masses can still often be problematic. The ad agency Jung Von Matt/Limmat was fortunate to have their client – disabled advocacy organization Pro Infirmis – encouraging them to take a fresh approach to this sort of work.

For the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the agency worked with a mannequin maker, introducing him to several people with unusual bodies due to disorders such as scoliosis, shortened limbs, and brittle bone disease. Among them were model Jasmin Rechsteiner, who was Miss Handicap 2010, athlete Urs Kolly, radio host Alex Oberholzer, actor Erwin Aljukic and blogger Nadja Schmid. He took their measurements and modified existing mannequins to precisely portray them, because “Who is perfect, anyway?”. The mannequins went on display yesterday on Zürich’s Bahnhofstrasse, in the windows of PKZ, Schild, Modissa, WE Fashion, and Bernies. The reactions of the models to the mannequins created in their image seems to have been very positive; one man tried his prosthetic shin on the mannequin to see that it fit perfectly. “It is special to see yourself like this, when you usually can’t look at yourself in the mirror,” said another. Passerby at the store window were surprised and moved.

Though Dove has been criticized for prioritizing appearance too much, potentially causing women to worry about it more, Jung Von Matt/Limmat can hardly be accused of such considering their project’s context. A clothing store window may be the most unambiguously commercial place for it there is, and it’s therefore both prominent and non-invasive. The campaign is more of a critique of the fashion world than of society at large. Plus, by focusing on the beauty of a group whose physicality is, when not marginalized and disparaged, ignored entirely, they are superficial in a way that is actually welcome. And Jung Von Matt/Limmat does know how to dig deeper: another campaign for the same client put a disabled man in a cuddly bear costume, which allowed him to give and get big hugs in the street.

Pro Infirmis // Jung Von Matt/Limmat

Sources: Adrants, Creativity-Online, BusinessInsider


Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology december 2, 2016

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children december 2, 2016

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail 2017

See All
Travel december 2, 2016

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Ryan Chin

Cities, Internet of Things, Data

Food december 2, 2016

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture december 2, 2016

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport december 2, 2016

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed december 2, 2016

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated december 2, 2016

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Fashion december 2, 2016

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work december 2, 2016

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing december 2, 2016

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

Arts & Culture december 2, 2016

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Automotive december 2, 2016

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

Gaming & Play december 2, 2016

This Game Lets You Be A Pilot In The Drone Racing League

DRL Racing Simulator recreates actual courses in a virtual environment

Travel december 1, 2016

Hotel Chain Is Giving Away Its Not-So-Super Hotel Art At Art Basel

A lesson in how to advertise a kitschy-to-cool redesign in the middle of Miami Art Week

No search results found.