Almax Mannequins: between craftsmanship and technology

Assolombarda Confindustria Milano Monza e Brianza

Explore 47 years of Italian tradition and technological innovation

47 years of traditions
Quality, design and technological innovation: these are just some of the characteristics of made in Italy that have been guiding Almax in the design and production of men, women and children mannequins and busts forms. Toward the end of the 70s, Saverio Catanese sees the opportunities of turning the mannequin into a successful product.

The production of the first series of mannequins starts thanks to the collaboration with creative directors, sculptors and greatly talented artists that allow the company to grow.

The 70s and the 80s are characterized by a fast growth: acquisitions (Prifo Manichini in 1973) and collaborations (with the American company E.T. Cranston) lead to an enhancement of the production, both on a technical and commercial level.

In 1980 the company opens up to new markets and it opens a factory in Mariano Comense (CO). The name, Almax, is the result of the fusion of the names of the two founders: Alfonso and Massimiliano, sons of the founder, today Technical and Artistic Director and CEO of the company.

Almax factories and showrooms can be found in Italy, the USA and China. Logistical centers, painting lines and showrooms can be also found in France, Mexico, Canada and Brasil.

This process has led in 2016 to the acquisition of Almax by The Visuality Corporation.

How is a Mannequin Made?
Detailed designs are the starting point for the creation of mannequins.

Sketches on paper are the starting point of the design of a new collection.

A first model in clay will help define the pose, the style and the details of the sculpture.

An initial outline designed in modeling clay will later help to define the pose and details of the sculpture and mannequin style, and will serve as a first plaster model.

The chalk components are perfected and refined so that they can then be used to make the corresponding molds.
The face is a fundamental component that can affect the appearance and expression of the whole mannequin.

The plaster prototype is scanned with special equipment that draws a 3D image, which is then used to make aluminum molds using a numerically-controlled milling machine.

Traditional sculpture

Model of a woman mannequin designed with 3D modeling

Collections vary according to position, size and type: abstract, realistic, with hair or sculpted.

Almax archive preserves more than 1000 original models for men, women and children mannequins in different sizes, positions, ethnic and physical characteristics.

The raw material—shock-absorbent polystyrene—is heated to obtain a soft, homogeneous mass, which is then divided into different measures depending on the part to be produced.
The mass of molten polystyrene is then placed into the mold, which it will fill once it is closed.

Once the mass has solidified, the cast can be extracted from the mold in order to be smoothed and finished several times before it is painted and decorated

The different parts are painted in special cabins using water-based paints respectful of the environment.

In order to make the wigs, each fiber bundle is carefully combed and blended to achieve the desired nuance. The strands are then applied individually onto special plastic caps. Scissors create the right length, in the hands of expert hairstylists.

The face can wear different styles, from realistic with makeup and a wig, to sculpted hair, classic taste, and futuristic versions of iconic styles. Expressions range from glamor and seduction to sweetness and cheerfulness in more than 1,600 faces.

Once painted, the mannequins can go through make-up. The base is made with airbrush paint while details are made by professionals designers.

The choice of makeup is often dictated by whatever styles and trends are in fashion, but also by the personality of each and every brand.

The length and shape of the eyelashes also affects every look.

Finishes are handmade by the team of designers. Different effects can be created such as wood, marble, stone, concrete or antiqued gold.

The Evolution of the Mannequin
The company follows the evolution of fashion and the mannequins reflect the spirit of the time in their hairstyles and make up.
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