The Proportion London brand was acquired by award-winning London-based retail expert Kesslers International in 2020, bringing the production of fibreglass and papier-mâché mannequins, bust forms and display accessories into their extensive manufacturing facility in East London.
Founded in 1893, Kesslers has a flair for adapting to the needs of a changing market and hasn’t stopped growing since, finding new areas to apply its expertise to deliver unique displays, pop-ups and in-store experiences to brands, globally. The acquisition of the Proportion London brand provides an opportunity for further development that will support the company in its ambitions to increase its foothold in the visual merchandising sphere.
Proportion London are leading UK mannequin producers with an extensive history dating back to 1867. The team continue to practice the original artisanal techniques and craftmanship using a library of original shape moulds and early archive material. The brand has a proud international portfolio that spans respected retailers, high-end brands and world-class museums such as Alexander McQueen, John Lewis and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
When Proportion London went into administration, the senior team at Kesslers felt that they simply couldn’t let a brand with such quality and heritage leave the marketplace and were able to acquire the brand name and moulds. As part of the strategy to grow and develop the product offer, Kesslers are passionate about retaining the Proportion ethos, with a London location, bespoke manufacturing and high-quality products being the cornerstones. Proportion has built up a well-respected reputation and legacy in the visual merchandising sphere, which both teams hope to compliment and continue. Despite the acquisition, Kesslers have been able to keep the essence of Proportion and were able to secure the talents of a number of employees, creating ten new positions at Kesslers in the process. Their talent and expertise in producing world-class pieces are incomparable, with many of the team being with Proportion London for over 15 years.
The focus is now on Proportion’s future within the Kesslers stable. The benefit of the recently launched new website means that the latest developments and projects can be seen again and an ecommerce platform has been added for the mannequin hire ranges. The full range of available hire products are now available directly through the site on a weekly rental basis, an example of just one update the Kesslers acquisition has led to.
Looking ahead to product development, designer Stefan Parsons is leading the design team working on updating the collections and adding brand-new ranges that represent the current retail trends. Stefan comments: “We are remaining true to the heritage whilst exploring new materials and suppliers to create more sustainable mannequins in the future. We are also using new techniques including 3D sculpting and printing to speed up the development process”. Proportion’s ambition is to update its product offering whilst maintaining the artisanal production techniques, ensuring the industry leading quality and service remains unparalleled.
The expansion underscores Kesslers’ intent to grow in the areas that strengthen its offering and specialism to retailers and brands. Proportion London offers an exciting opportunity to introduce Kesslers to a new range of fashion brands to develop its relationships and long-lasting synergies.
Daniel Astarita, Sales & Marketing Director at Kesslers International added: “We are lucky to have acquired a brand with so much heritage, bringing with it a strong brand image, reputation and high-quality standards. I am sure that Proportion London will bring an exciting chapter to the Kesslers story as well as continuing Proportion’s own legacy. Augmenting the services that we provide will ensure we continue to develop and strengthen both Kesslers and Proportion London’s position in the marketplace”.