A streetwise boutique and gallery, created by Dominique Banks, Fashion Business Management ’19, radiates uptown style
by Winnie McCroy
Just around the corner from Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater, Dominique Banks opened The Dominici Collective, a retail store/art gallery/barbershop that caters to the neighborhood this Chattanooga, Tennessee, native now calls home.
“Harlem is a creative nucleus for New York’s Black community, and this has all those elements combined in one space,” Banks says. He designed the 1,400-square-foot space in organic colors with homey accent pieces, naming it after himself with a nod to his favorite brand, Gucci.
The Dominici Collective showcases only the ne plus ultra of urban streetwear. Custom-made racks feature men’s fashions from international designers Leandro Lopes of Portugal, Limitato from Sweden, Korean-based Tee Library, L.A.’s Hiro Clark, Daniel Patrick of Australia, and popular AlphaStyle patchwork items by Hong Kong creative Ivan Chan. Hemincuff vegan handbags and Krio skincare products complete the carefully curated collection.
Walls pop with Khalid Sabree’s neo-expressionist art: Basquiat-influenced canvases that complement the vividly colored streetwear. In the middle of the gallery space sits a vintage barber chair, where a Senegalese barber executes expert cuts, fades, and special designs. “There’s nothing like getting a fresh line-up on Saturday before going out,” Banks says. “Then you grab an outfit here and hit the streets.”
During Fashion Week, Banks welcomed clients with his trademark Southern hospitality, presenting new fashions from L.A. brand Harri Penny, a DJ pumping Afrobeats, even a contortionist. “We had a Black-ass good time celebrating diversity, fashion, and love,” Banks says. “It was important for me to bring this experience here—not that it’s exclusively for Black residents of Harlem—to thank a community that’s been very welcoming.”
With skills gleaned from his former career in IT, Banks uses Instagram to drive business, but he is invested in the power of brick and mortar. “My goal is to open stores in Brooklyn and on the West Coast via small expansions over time. I want to share The Dominici Collective vision with more than just Harlem.”