“Nothing sells the clothing like a mannequin: it’s a subliminal message from the retailer, the first thing people see in the window or in a department when they go into the store.” - Michael Steward
If these words are true then a certain men’s clothing store in Brooklyn must be raking it in. Alpha Swagg, a men’s retailer has a mannequin in the front window that has captured the exact likeness of the 44th President of the United States. A very life-like and “swaggered-out” Barack Obama is on display every week with a new eye-catching outfit. The purchase of this specialty mannequin was a smart move for the store. Obama’s popularity continues to soar. The world can’t get enough of the former president and his family. When Obama trends, it translate into store sales.
Private life has not changed the public’s obsession with Obama. He made major headlines when he showed up for jury duty in Chicago last month. On Season 43 episode 8 of Saturday Night Live Chance the Rapper, Kenan Thompson, and Chris Redd performed “Come Back Barack” . The group De-Von-Tre sang/begged Barack to come back and save the world. The three sang “We want you back somehow / I need you in my life / So come back, Barack / We didn't know what we had / Now things are looking bad / Like really bad, like world war bad, like nuclear bad / So come back, Barack." The love for the former president is real and people are not afraid to express it.
Barack Obama is not the first famous face that has been the inspiration for a retail mannequin. In 2011 Athleta hired Colorado mannequin company Fusion Specialties to create a life like mannequin of their spokesperson and model Danielle Halverson. In 2011 the Times reported that Fusion Specialties digitally scanned Ms. Halverson in stationary and action sequences. In two weeks, seven sculptors created clay renderings of the 3-D digital scans that “hand-etched her from a tiny pile of clay down to the tiny delineations of the sinew in the muscle,” said Tess Roering, former vice president for marketing at Athleta. Gen Z brand Charlotte Russe has used photos straight from the red carpet create custom celebrity looks for their mannequins. At one point in time fashion mogul Ralph Lauren used the face of runway model Yasmin le Bon for his 72nd and Madison Avenue store mannequins.
In 2011 the Daily Mail reported that the Obama mannequin was sold by a company based in Nevada. According to their website the mannequin is out of stock. A representative for Las Vegas Mannequins recently stated that the store would “look into” re-ordering if a customer made an inquiry. There is a sliver of hope for those who are obsessed with all things Barack could have one of their very own.