Interview with Edward Gribbin

Face2Face
Edward Gribbin
Edward Gribbin
President
Alvanon Inc.
Alvanon Inc.

Alvanon has established itself as big company, what have you to say to the investors? Is there any scope for them?

We are a privately owned company founded by Dr. Kenneth Wang, and we are quite young company. We are only 12 years old. Our investors are quite happy with our growth. We have grown considerably over the last few years especially, with double digit growth every year. This is because of two things: 1. We do an excellent job for our customers, and our customers come back to us again and again for more advise and tools and solutions. 2. Also because of our good reputation we have been able to land new clients.

How has the making of mannequins changed from time to time? What is the latest development in this process?

Recently, we came across news from Hong Kong Polytechnic University about mannequins that can change shape and size. They are robotic mannequins. This is not a practical solution at the moment, but it can give us an idea of something that can be possible in future. Twenty years ago, mannequins were typically made from paper mache. Dr. Wang and Alvanon revolutionized the way mannequins were made. Mannequins that were made by hand use to differ from each other. So at Alvanon, we created a mould and made them out of fiberglass. This way, every mannequin for a particular brand can be exactly the same and make the client’s production much more consistent. Ten years ago, the use of fiberglass in mannequins was a big innovation in this field. About five years ago, we started to invest in soft mannequins. They really emulate the human body very well and are very popular with the makers of swimwear and athletic wear.. The flesh of the mannequins simulates the flesh of the human body. The soft mannequins are the latest development in the industry today, but something like the robotic mannequins may come in the near future.

Do you feel that there are very few makers of mannequins in the global apparel industry?

No, there are many manufacturers of mannequins but there are very few who combine a huge database of human body measurement with the ability to interpret and advise the retailers and brands on what the actual measurements should be, along with making a mannequin. Nobody does what we do at Alvanon. We have positioned ourselves at a very unique position in the industry. Other people who are making mannequins don’t have the support of so much data behind them, to know exactly how to make the mannequin. We are operating in 87 countries around the world. We are very privileged that so many people trust us to make mannequins.

What is the average life of a mannequin and what is the price per unit?

We have companies that bought mannequins when we opened 12 years ago, and they are using those mannequins even today. So they last quite long. It depends on the way they are used. Some use them ten hours a day and some five hours a day. It depends on the work and company. An average life of a mannequin can be 3-5 years. Most of the mannequins cost between 1500 to 2000 U.S. dollars approximately.
Published on: 10/04/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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