Clipped From Herald and Review
Central Illinois Teens do model job at the mall Decatur, Illinois, Sunday, January 4, 1987 By DAWN MORVILLE Herald ft Rtvttw Staff Writer FORSYTH They stand as still as fiberglass mannequins. Then you see them blink. , If they look life-like, that's because they are. When shoppers pass by, "I think they think we're real," 14-year-old Jennifer Meyer said. Rudi Pyle, 14, agreed. "At first they do, and then they look closer . and see you blink." They and two other Decatur girls were working as "freeze models" in front of the Ups 'n Downs clothing store in Hickory Point Mall. The store has 30 models who pose on weekends. Some people are scared when they see the "mannequins' move, said Karissa Koyak, 13. "Some people have to come up and touch you to make sure." said Laura Suckow, 13. "And then they feel like fools," added Jennifer. Do the models feel like fools? "Sometimes," Laura admitted. "When they say some really weird comment to make you laugh." The girls agreed that keeping a straight face is one of the more difficult parts of the job. "A person in his 70s said my fly was undone." Jennifer said. It wasn't. At school, she said, some students "make fun of me. They stare in space like (I'm a) space case." Karissa said when she sees people she knows, "I get red." But Rudi said she just smiles "so they know I'm not stuck up or anything." The models aren't paid. Instead they get a 20 percent discount on clothing they buy in the store on the days they work. Some, interested in being professional models, value the experience. Others just see it as a way to pass the time, and enjoy shoppers' reac- 'Some people have to come up and touch you to make sure Model Laura Suckow tions. . "It's sort of something for them to do for fun," said Dawn Lazell. assistant store manager, who coordinates the program. She said it s successful in attracting people's attention. The girls choose poses that resemble the non-living mannequins seen in storefront displays. They alternate sitting and standing so their feet don't get too tired. Their positions change about every IS minutes ' during the two-hour period they work,- Rudi said. The girls are not allowed to chew gum or start conversations among themselves or with shoppers though Laura admitted they do whisper to each other sometimes. Lazell said the freeze model idea was the company's and is a first for the mail. However, it is seen frequently in bigger cities such as Chicago and St. Louis to promote clothing, store Manager Paula Jones said. The store sought applications before it opened in August. Models can be from 13 to 18 years old. Lazell ."'f v. - v C -4f f &j w rj ' ' . j j s. iff1' itV' ' fft'' JV ticSa, ' ' ' "" - " said. ? Photo by Doug Gaumoi Laura Suckow, left, and Jennifer Meyer make like mannequin at Up 'n Downs in Hickory Point Mall. eanines tog." tage of the clothing discount and like - I started because 1 want to oe a uenniier saw, i jusi umi n a j"". mcj w urej are some-- ' The models can be seen from 1 to model when I get older so I thought fun. something to do on weekends times bothered by the fact that they 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday this would be a good opportunity to because there's nothing to do." It are working for free, wearing clothing usually new practice," Laura said. also looks good on a resume, she merchandise, price tags and all "I just thought it was interest- said. "Plus, the 20 percent off on "Some people ask why you're chosen by store employees. The girls ing,' Karissa said. "A lot of people clothes." she quickly added. doing it if you don't get paid." Laura provide their own shoes, socks and will come up to us, so it's not bor- Although the girls do take advan- said.