Andy’s Dress Form

““Our forms are still made the old fashion way —by hand.””

Rohan RambaranOwner

Jhonotan Moloon has been cycling since he was seven years old.

Rohan’s journey into the art of dress form craftsmanship began over 40 years ago. It became evident to Rohan early on that self-driven learning was the key to true mastery. As he notes, “They don’t teach you everything; you have to practice and learn things on your own.” This self-guided exploration eventually led him to establish Andy’s Dress Form in 2003. At the time, it wasn’t uncommon to have a dress form produced in the Garment District. “When I started, there were some big businesses, and I was just the little guy.” Today, Andy’s Dress Form is the last dress form maker in NYC.

clothing dress form laid out on a table
close up of dress form

“I do it the hard way.”

In an industry that often opts for convenience and outsourcing, Rohan’s approach is characterized by meticulous handcrafting, ensuring each dress form truly is a work of art. At Andy’s Dress Form, there is no room for casting or other shortcuts. Instead, Rohan’s process is thorough and slow, and entirely done by hand.

It begins with soaking high-quality paper in water, which becomes the base. Layers of wet paper are then carefully wrapped around the mold, layer by layer, shaping the distinctive foundation of the dress form. In total, each dress form requires six layers of paper, carefully applied by hand to ensure unmatched durability and strength. This process demands a keen eye for detail, an unwavering commitment to perfection, and substantial patience.

After the layers are in place, the skilled team meticulously seals the dress form, encasing the layers of paper mâché to create a solid and uniform structure. A week of drying follows, after which the surface is expertly smoothed and refined to meet the highest standards of quality. Precision measurements are then taken to ensure that the dimensions align with the custom requirements.

The final touch involves a fabric covering, adding both branding aesthetics and functionality to the dress form. This step may also include placing the client’s brand or logo onto the finished piece, showcasing the attention to detail and artistry that goes into every single Andy’s Dress Form creation.

“We help designers with whatever they need.”

At his fully equipped facility, Rohan produces full forms, children’s sizes, menswear options, bottom forms, and an array of other options. Each dress form is completely unique and customized to his clients’ precise requirements. Emerging designers can receive a single sample form, while established brands often place large orders of multiple sizes. All Rohan needs to complete a project is the measurements, and he even offers helps with that part of the process. This degree of flexibility and care underscores Rohan’s unwavering dedication to the craft, which has established him as a top choice for designers across the country.

Q&A with Rohan Rambaran

What work have you most enjoyed?

Being involved in every step of the process of creating the forms.

What’s your advice to someone starting out in this business?

If you have a dream, work hard and go for it. I’m not a businessman - I just know and love the work.