State College

Harper’s to move to larger College Avenue location

Harper’s is moving locations. It takes the space previously occupied by boutique Sercy, which closed in April, and Blue I.V. Boutique on the second floor.
Harper’s is moving locations. It takes the space previously occupied by boutique Sercy, which closed in April, and Blue I.V. Boutique on the second floor. adrey@centredaily.com

Harper’s is getting fitted for larger measurements.

The custom tailor and menswear store plans to move to 224 E. College Ave. by May, owner Brian Cohen said, and is set to begin construction in early January. It takes the space previously occupied by boutique Sercy, which closed in April, and Blue I.V. Boutique on the second floor.

Blue I.V. plans to close its doors in about two to three weeks, owner Susan Dreibelbis said.

While Harper’s move is just a few blocks down for the 90-year-old State College staple, it’s a step up in terms of space. The current store, located at 114 W. College Ave., is about 3,800 square feet. The new store will feature about 6,000 square feet and three levels.

Cohen said next-door neighbor CVS plans to expand into Harper’s current location. The current store will remain open, he added, until construction is completed at the new site. He estimated a few days’ closure for the move.

State College firm Morpheus Studio is the designer on the project.

“The feel of the store being more open is something I’ve always wanted,” Cohen said. “Our current store is kind of laid out in a long, narrow straight line. In our new location we’ll be able to define these areas of our store better and make shopping more fun for our customers.”

With the additional space, Harper’s, traditionally a menswear store, plans on adding a small women’s boutique and a line to its popular Varsity Club. Cohen said the store will expand its tailoring services by featuring a larger designated space for custom fittings.

“That’s another where we’re really going to expand,” he added. “Where a guy will sit down and we would help him design custom clothing.”

Bespoke, or made-to-measure, suits have been in style since Harper’s existence and then some. But in the age of Amazon, they’ve experienced a sartorial renaissance thanks to an expanding wardrobe of online custom menswear lines.

At Harper’s, though, the personal touch is woven in, Cohen said. Stepping into a fresh suit just takes stepping into the store.

“There’s going to be a new-store feel,” Cohen said. “But there will be a lot of things that still feel familiar.”

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy

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