Local News

Triangle Men Create the Changing Face of Fashion

Posted July 8, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— You see them every time you go to the store, but probably look right past them. Mannequins help shape the clothes we buy. Two triangle men are making a living by shaping them.

"We have people come in here. They're scared to look in," says mannequin artist Luan Jones. "They say what do you all do?"

It's enough to make you blush, maybe even give you a good scare. But in a small warehouse is a business that's pale in comparison. Jones says his job is different everyday. He can take a broken nose and make it look beautiful. It's a lot like being a plastic surgeon, but only without the big bucks.

Instead of helping real people, Luan Jones helps mannequins -- fixing the bare necessities like he has for the past seven years. Jones and Larry Clubine take parts from up and down the east coast, from Macy's to JC Penney's, and make them whole again.

"Some days are more adventurous than others," Jones admits. "like when we have 20 to 30 mannequins to do in about a week."

If there's one thing you can learn here, it's that working with dummies is one way to keep a good sense of humor. Where else can a man get away with stripping a total stranger, or chopping off one head to replace it with another.

"You laugh at it, and frown sometimes," Jones says. "You get frustrated, but at the end of the day you just [whistle]."

It may just be a job, but to Jones and Clubine there's an art to their work that makes their careers seem head and shoulders above the rest.

Clubine, the owner of the mannequin business, says when he delivers dummies to New York City no one looks twice. But down in Raeford, the sight of naked bodies piled to the ceiling of his van draws quite a crowd. Kerrie Hudzinski