Jenny DeHuff welcomes the original "jawn", Emmy back to Philly.

Emmy the Mannequin

How the Emmy the Mannequin from the movie got brought back home to the new Philadelphia Fashion District.

If you’re old enough to remember the movie “Mannequin,” then you might remember that scenes were filmed in Center City – at John Wanamaker’s Department Store, now Macy’s – where “Emmy,” the mannequin, was a dummy one day, and came to life the next. Well, she’s come home. 

Emmy the Mannequin now lives – forever – inside the clothing shop South Fellini, a store within the new Philadelphia Fashion District. This is the old Gallery at 9th and Market streets, and spans three blocks west toward Jefferson Station. The Gallery had long suffered the fate of fewer and fewer customers from years of wear and tear and has-been merchants and tenants, with little-to-no upkeep over decades. 

Emmy the Mannequin
Inside the new Philadelphia Fashion District. Image: PREIT.

The Philadelphia Fashion District celebrates its official grand opening on Thursday morning. It’ll be trimmed with all the pomp and circumstance of a ribbon-cutting by Mayor Jim Kenney, building owners and investors, confetti cannons, a marching band and more.  

Philadelphia Fashion District gave an exclusive media tour to members of the press on Tuesday. But dosage MAGAZINE got to meet Emmy the Mannequin first – the pretty plastic character from the 80s cult classic film. 

Emmy the Mannequin
Andrew McCarthy and Emmy from the 1987 film, Mannequin.

She stands tall and graceful inside South Fellini, a shop that designs “apparel for Philly lifestyle” inside the new mall. It’ll be her permanent home, says South Fellini co-owner Tony Trov. 

“I’ve been in the film business for a long time, and I’ve seen things and I hold onto things, and… when [Emmy] came around, people really reacted to it. It was bigger than I realized,” he said. 

“It sounds ridiculous, but there are these things around. If you know the right people, you can get these things. I have a Kevin Smith comic book stand from ‘Mall Rats 2.’ I have ‘Apollo Creed’ shirts from ‘Creed 2’ with Michael B Jordan.”

Trov said Emmy the Mannequin came to Philly about a month ago through a sort of trades amongst film props. Truth be told, there were about a dozen blonde mannequins used in the filming of “Mannequin.” Some are on display at Planet Hollywoods and other attractions across the country. 

While Emmy the Mannequin may not have the flawless features, smooth surfaces and high-class style she once did in the 80s, she does have a whole new look now. Like South Fellini, she’s a little more edgy, scrappy – a little more Philly. Instead of ball gowns, bikinis and furs, she’s wearing gym shorts, a “Jawn” T shirt and a beanie. Sure, she might have some paint chipped away and minor scratches, but her hair hasn’t changed a bit. And to harken a little bit back to her true self, Trov put her in gold high heels (with socks), so we don’t forget that sassy little lady on the inside. “This one was pretty much trashed. But, we got it!” he said. 

Emmy the Mannequin

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