But the address is not what had us perplexed. It was all the naked mannequins in the window, and the rows of empty hangers neatly, um, hanging on the wall. At first we assumed it was an underwear shop still waiting for the underwear to arrive. Then weeks passed and then a month, and we guessed it might be a new boutique based on The Emperor’s New Clothes — you know, that just might work here.
Today we walked in and discovered what we kind of suspected: The small store sells mannequins and hangers (and presumably the odd Rick James wig here and there). “Ying Ming” might be left over from the space’s previous occupant, because the shop’s real name is Shanghai Jicheng Mannequins and Hangers Co. Ltd. (上海积诚模特儿衣架有限公司), a division of Jiqi Mannequins and Hangers (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. (积奇模特儿衣架（深圳）有限公司). Their business card says simply “Jacky Hanger.Mannequin.” You can check them out online at Alibaba.
OK, so they sell mannequins and hangers. So what, right? Those stores exist, right? Well, yeah, but we didn’t know they existed like this, kind of stylish and boutiquey and definitely not in a low-rent part of town — it’s right down the block from Zara and L’Occitane. We like to buy our mannequins in seedier more warehousey environs where we can get in and out without people we know noticing — don’t judge us!
Mannequins all seemed to be upwards of RMB 1,000. But we imagine that prices would go down if you weren’t tall and white and taking photos of everything with a camera phone. They said they sell most of their stuff to shops in the neighborhood, which makes sense … kind of. We can’t imagine there is much walk-in traffic for mannequins. We didn’t ask how much the hangers were, but we did notice a set of display shelves marked “50 percent off” by a plastic sign. There was no sale going on — they just sell plastic “50 percent off” signs.
Go check it out for yourself. It’s … weird.
Shanghai Jicheng Mannequins and Hangers Co. Ltd. (上海积诚模特儿衣架有限公司), aka “Jacky,” 35 (-1) Shaanxi Bei Lu, near Weihai Lu. Tel: 13816536398 and 62362880 (these numbers may not be for this particular location).
More photos here.