Ever walked into INA Men and heard the words of Notorious B.I.G. steady in the background of the sweaters, sneakers, buckets of belts, hat stands and hanging bags,

Way back, when I had the red and black lumberjack

With the hat to match

the last word of every line hanging in the speakers for emphasis and waiting for the next, but standing alone too, until every day of Biggie Small’s life is a poem in meter? What would you call that? Sonnet? Iambic pentameter? Free verse?       

Some kid named Jason

In a Honda Station Wagon

Was bragging

Notorious B.I.G. was often seen in a Coogi sweater, beige Kangol cap, baggy and maybe hooded jacket. These were the clothes he wore. When I think about his clothes, I think about his voice. 

Stop the dogs from barking. Then proceed to walking. 

are the lyrics in Hypnotize. And in turn, his voice says something about his clothes. His rap lyrics are full of the day and night, all of the anecdotal action between the larger events of fame. The clothes he wore on stage were just the clothes he wore. 

About 20 years ago, when rapper Notorious B.I.G. signed onto Bad Boy Records with Sean “Diddy” Combs, Ina Bernstein opened her first location of INA on Thompson Street

Leaning over the counter at 101 Thompson, Ina once told me that she opened her store with a good deal of her own gently worn clothing, ringing in sales and creating accounts for the first consignors largely by herself. The five-store mecca known as INA began from within Ina’s own closet. 

A New York Times article featuring INA lead customers to wait outside the store before it opened one morning, and the next day, Ina hired her first employee.  Really, INA is the model for consignment-store-as-boutique. I can’t count the number of times a customer has walked through the door and said, “Wait. Is this a consignment store? Everything looks brand-new.” 

All INA stores celebrate this opening twenty years ago with a 20% sale on items $500 and less this upcoming Tuesday, November 20th.

In addition, INA will give-away one $500 giftcard to one Facebook fan who “likes” us on Facebook between today and next Tuesday. Become a fan here: https://www.facebook.com/inanyc.

From bottom to top: Alexander McQueen leather coin sneakers (Chelsea), Dolce & Gabbana embroidered eagle white jeans (Chelsea), Vintage Stussy leather & wool jacket (Nolita Men's), Wool Kangol cap (Nolita Men's), Missoni printed silk sweater (Chelsea), Moncler coat with fox hood (Chelsea), Alexander Wang black jacket (Chelsea), CP Company coat with fur-trimmed hood (Chelsea), Coogi knot sweater (Nolita Men's)