Rootstein was born in Warmbaths, South Africa in 1930. She married the industrial designer Richard Hopkins. Rootstein started by making window displays, which gave her an understanding of "the void that had existed between fashion coverage in the international media & what actually happened in windows." 
Rootstein started making mannequins in the kitchen of her basement flat in Earls Court in 1956.  She first hired sculptor John Taylor and model Imogen for her first mannequin, placed in a reclining position. This was the start of her first collection, called "Model Girl".
Rootstein Hopkins Foundation
In 1990 Rootstein and her husband Rick Hopkins set up the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation to assist young artists and designers. The mannequin business was sold in 1991 and Rootstein died in London on 20 September 1992.
- Obituary: Adel Rootstein, 24 September 1992, The Independent. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- Rootstein Hopkins Foundation, British Museum website. Retrieved on 21 June 2009.
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