Lana Turner

  • Words Djassi DaCosta Johnson
  • Photography Andre D. Wagner
  • Makeup Sade Akin Boyewa El

A short stroll—and several wardrobe changes—with a woman who’s never tired of New York.

  • Words Djassi DaCosta Johnson
  • Photography Andre D. Wagner
  • Makeup Sade Akin Boyewa El

Real estate agents rarely appear in the fashion pages of glossy magazines, but Lana Turner has never been much interested in doing what’s expected of her. The Harlem local (and, many would say, legend) first caught the gaze of the fashion media thanks to her impeccable style—simultaneously classic and unusual—which has now been admired and photographed by several generations of New Yorkers. She once sold a hard-to-shift townhouse by mounting a display of her outfits inside it.

Turner is embedded in the history of Harlem—not just in its buildings, but also in its culture. I met her while working on programming with the literary society she’s helmed for 38 years. She’s currently organizing a season based around the life of Alain Locke, the philosopher, educator and “father...

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