Smack dab in the middle of ‘80s inspired sneaker stores, ‘round-the-way jewelry outlets, and a mass-market Swedish retailer, is the breath of high fashion fresh air that is N Harlem. This bi-level, 4,000 square foot flagship sports a famous uptown address, a retro-chic ambiance (think Savoy Ballroom in its heyday), and a bevy of designer labels—making it one of the best places in the city for bagging smart and sophisticated lines such as Tracey Reese, Hugo Boss Orange, and Emanuel Ungaro. Owned and operated by three friends with an extensive credit sheet in the New York fashion world, N Harlem’s Larry Ortiz, Nikoa Evans, and Lenn Shebar are cognoscente in offering styles to the shopper “who has a strong fashion sense and appreciates luxury, quality, and finding special items that others aren’t ‘rockin.’” In other words, this isn’t your little sister’s boutique. N caters to the tasteful Harlemite who prefers a shopping “experience” to an “excursion.” Upon entering the Victorian-era brownstone (an architectural staple in the re-emerging Manhattan neighborhood), shoppers are dazzled by the store’s posh digs—replete with oversize antique mirrors, custom chandeliers, and lighted candles, creating the perfect mood for trying on a sexy cocktail dress by Harlem-based designer Nicole Romano, or this season’s style du jour—high-waisted, wide-leg trousers—by up-and-coming design duo BruceGlen.
Along with an impressive list of mens and womens collections, N also carries goods for the home, and a recently unveiled urban luxe line of fragrances, accessories, and music. And what fashionista doesn’t love the VIP treatment? Personal shopping services include at-home (or work) wardrobe consultations, car services to and from the store, an on-site tailor, and an outdoor space for parties, events, or just to show off your new looks to fifty of your closest friends. N Harlem, 114 W 116th St. between Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave) and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (Seventh Ave) New York, N.Y. 212.961.1036; online at nharlemnewyork.com.