Hot Shop: Emerlyn & Ester

An R&B star backs a new Buckhead boutique

Photograph by Joe Martinez

Celebrity boutiques are usually hit or miss. Usher ex Tameka Raymond’s ever-expanding, Beulah-loving Estella in Roswell was a hit. Real Housewife Kandi Burruss’s Local Celebrity–carrying Tags in Smyrna wasn’t. Emerlyn & Ester shows promise. Opened in October, the Buckhead boutique of Ne-Yo and his significant other, Monyetta Shaw, boasts upscale digs, exclusive lines, and a distinct mentality.
With a gold and crimson facade, walls painted “jealousy” pink, and interior design by Huff, the shop reflects its owners’ champagne lifestyle. Thanks to exclusive pieces such as Allison Parris dresses and London-based Lara Bohinc’s pumps and purses, shoppers come a little closer to looking like one in a million themselves. Finds such as sunglasses from Mary J. Blige’s line, Melodies, help finish the look.
Louisiana native Shaw had wanted to open a boutique since her teens. She developed an appreciation for Donna Karan in high school, fell for True Religion jeans in college, and worked as a buyer for Heart N Soul for most of the aughts. When it came to naming her store, Shaw turned to her two lifelong style influences: her grandmothers. Emerlyn was the trendsetter, as reflected in the shop’s lower level with its Robin’s jeans, while Ester was the more formal one, as epitomized in the shop’s upper level with its Sena dresses and Whiting & Davis metal mesh clutches. “I wanted to combine both of their styles and put it into my vision,” Shaw says. 3209 Paces Ferry Place, Suite 7, 404-848-8494,

This article originally appeared in our February 2011 issue.