Next to Frank Lucas, Nicky Barnes is the other notorious Harlem drug kingpin who controlled his own serious heroin trade. Known as Mr. Untouchable, the flashy druglord was constantly spotted around town in furs and the latest fashionable clothing. He was stylish and compelling enough to probably be the only drug dealer who graced the cover of the New York Times Magazine.

Frank Lucas acknowledged in an interview that, of the two of them, Nicky was definitely "a flamboyant guy" both in his dress and in his business style. When the kingpin's wardrobe was seized by the DEA, the New York Times reported that he posessed hundreds of custom suits, Italian shoes, and coats. His jewelry collection was estimated at over one million dollars, cementing Barnes' status as the Style King of Harlem.