The Mannequin Project

In September 2012, hair stylists at Melrose & McQueen, a salon on Elizabeth Street, decided to host an event. They wanted to exhibit some local artists’ and co-workers’ art in an event called the “Mannequin Project.” This event was held inside the salon and they arrange all the mannequins to best show them off.

“Considering we live in a very artistic neighborhood and we’re friends with a lot of artists, we just wanted to do something that would bring the community together and raise money for a great cause,” Amber Casciano, a Melrose and McQueen employe said.

In the 2013 Mannequin Project, Melrose & McQueen wanted people bring new and unopened toys to donate to “Toys for Tots.” For every toy a person brought they would get one raffle ticket to put in the drawing to win the mannequin of their choice. For the raffle, one would tear their ticket in half and put it in the jar of the mannequin they wanted.

Casciano said bringing the community together in an event like the Mannequin Project “will be a very passionate thing for them to do together.”

Casciano said Kristo, the founder of Melrose and McQueen, loves art and  his clients. “It just shows that we’re hairdressers and we do hair but we’re also involved in other ways as well,” Casciano said.

Casciano was surprised that the number of visitors this year has doubled since last year.“People were still talking about last year’s party until yesterday,” Casciano said.

After seeing how well the Mannequin Project was received the first year, “we hope that other salons will adopt it and utilize the hashtag and do something like Toys for Tots,” Kristo said. He wants to be able to start to a new trend for other salons support a charity through art.

The Mannequin Project lets people know, “[Melrose & McQueen] not just a salon, we do more,” Casciano said. “We’re a part of the community. We use our space for anything we can, especially for a good cause.”

Casciano said  a hairstylist isn’t just a person who does hair, but a person who can be something bigger than what they seem.”We’re not just hairstylists anymore.”

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