Yo, manwatchers and men who would be watched: Lowell Nesbitt has redefined and upsized the hunk of the future. The prominent New York City artist has designed what he proclaims as the Man of the ’90s for Pucci Manikins, an influential SoHo manufacturer that turns out 200 dummies a week for many of the nation’s toniest stores.
“The ideal man is someone who works out and has a bigger body,” declares Nesbitt, whose strong, silent hulks stand 6’2″ with 42″ chests, as opposed to the 6′-tall, 40″-chest industry standard. His quest for the improved male mannequin finally led him to 24-year-old Baltimore-born model Rod McCray, who’s 6’1″ and 180 lbs., and 27-year-old Rocky Santiago, a 5’9″, 167-lb. Brooklyn boutique owner and martial-arts enthusiast. The pair endured endless sittings. “I posed for two weeks for the head alone,” mutters McCray.
Rejecting stereotypical window-display stances (as well as wigs, painted features and flesh-toned bodies), Nesbitt looked to Greco-Roman sculpture for classical poses and weathered-marble finishes. The resulting fiberglass statuary will make its marketplace premiere this summer at Minneapolis’s newest Dayton Hudson department store. Then, as the dummies roll out nationwide, they will not only reflect America’s current fitness boom but could also reshape its beau ideal. Notes Pucci Manikins President Ralph Pucci: “They don’t have that preppy Ralph Lauren look.” Nesbitt agrees, in a pronouncement calculated to send a shudder down the suspenders of every Wall Street banker wannabe. “The man of the ’90s,” he says, “isn’t a yuppie WASP.”