Designer Consigner turns heads

Rehoboth shop swaps mannequins for models
August 1, 2014
Walkers are startled passing by the upscale boutique, which used living, breathing mannequins July 25. BY TAGGART HOUCK

Designer Consigner in Rehoboth Beach is far from ordinary.

Visitors to the store July 25 were amazed when window mannequins blinked, smiled and waved.

The upscale clothing store on First Street used living, breathing models in their windows from 7 to 9 p.m. Owner Michelle Scott-Costa said the store made the switch to catch attention.

“I just wanted to have something different and fun,” said Scott-Costa. “Today you have to think outside of the box.”

Scott-Costa said stores in New York frequently use models as mannequins, so she figured she’d bring the idea to Rehoboth.

Kasi Baker, 21, a store employee, and Tim McLaughlin, 69, a regular customer, were the models. They posed in opposite windows at the front of the store, sporting clothing offered at the upscale consignment shop. During the evening, each model wore three outfits – casual shorts with polos, jeans with dress shirts and fancy dress and tux.

Using mannequin-like poses sometimes held for more than 30 minutes, Baker and McLaughlin surprised many people on the busy sidewalk.

“I thought they were mannequins, and then they blinked,” said 9-year-old vacationer Violet Leonard. “That’s hilarious.”

McLaughlin, a model who lives in Philadelphia in the fall, winter and spring seasons, scared walkers with quick movements to get a laugh. He says he got a kick out of some reactions.

“I just love playing with people. I’m really shy, but it gives me a chance to have fun,” he said.

For Baker, the chance to model was a first.

“I was scared at first because everyone was looking at me,” she said. “But I would love to do it again.”

She may get the chance. Scott-Costa said the store will try to swap mannequins for models every Friday, suggesting Baker and McLaughlin may get another shot at it.

Designer Consigner, 5 N. First St., has another location in Hockessin. Open daily 10 a.m. to close during the summer, the store accepts and sells brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Kate Spade, to name a few. For more information, call the Rehoboth location at 302-212-2467.