Harlem boutique Bébénoir just opened a second store at 2064 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (between 124th and 125th streets), New York City. Their other NYC store is located at 2164 Frederick Douglass Blvd. For men and women, Bébénoir is a one-stop shop that stocks high fashions that are made in the U.S. and abroad.
The shops boast an African heritage and their clothes are rich in fashion, style, culture, color, fabrics, shapes and attitude. The company, Bébénoir, is a New York-based clothing operation founded by Ibrahima Doukoure, who is also the designer of the brand, and his wife, Fatima.
Doukoure, who grew up in Senegal and Italy, came up with the idea of a fashion house in Harlem over dinner at an African restaurant in early 2004. He wanted to share the African fashion sense that he knew with the rest of the world. After that conversation, Doukoure was watching a special news report about donating used clothes to a village in the Sahel. “The background image of the report showed a little boy, about 5 or 6 years old, struggling to fit in a ski outfit,” said Doukoure. “The idea of this happening in a village where the temperature reaches 95 degrees was unbelievable. The little boy became the light bulb that inspired the name Bébénoir.” The dream became a reality in 2005, and the boutique Bébénoir was born.
You’ll love this store, whether you visit the one on Adam Clayton Boulevard or the one on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. The people inside the store are professional, yet always make you feel comfortable. Bébénoir brings a new take on fashion to Harlem. For both men and women, the looks are extremely fly. Everything they sell, whether it’s jewelry, hats, scarves, sweaters, dresses or handbags is fashionable and affordable. They also recently introduced a new men’s suit collection. The company manufactures most of their line here in the U.S. The brand’s sophisticated ready-to-wear, sportswear and accessories, including sparkling jewelry, are of the highest quality.
Opening on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard allows Bébénoir an opportunity to service more of New York City’s better-dressed clientele. One would say that being closer to West 125th Street’s corridor has its advantages, especially with the new store’s location in the Theresa Hotel, which used to be home to many of the Apollo Theater’s visiting stars, and was visited by the late Fidel Castro during his visit to New York City in 1960.
Bébénoir’s founding husband-and-wife team both have their hands on the pulse of Harlem. With their collective African heritage, they continue to bring African styles and textiles with today’s fashion twist from their homeland.
The store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Saturday. Sundays, they are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.bebenoir.com. And have a Happy New Year!
Renee Minus White is the author of “Maybe: My Memoir,” a story about one of the original members of The Chantels, the 1950s female group that recorded the hit song, “Maybe.” Her book is available at www.reneeminuswhite.com, Amazon.com and Google Play.