Blk Mkt Vintage – Curating Black Collectibles

Blk Mkt Vintage Shop
  • Photo by Vice

Blk Mkt Vintage

Blk Mkt Vintage (pronounced Black Market Vintage) is a collection of black collectibles, cast-off’s and curiosities that represent the richness of black history and lived experience. The collection is curated by Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart who are also the founders. The collection includes items that have been found such as; vintage literature, vinyl records, clothing, art, housewares/decor, furniture among others.

The Blk Mkt Vintage collection is sold at their vintage shop in Brooklyn and on their online store. Select items of interest are stocked at the Brooklyn Museum, Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture and Ethel’s Club. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the shop in Brooklyn is currently closed. The re-opening date will be communicated at an opportune time. However, the online store continues running.

The brand also works with Philadelphia Print Works and together, they have the Reclaim Blk collaborative collection of new and vintage clothing, heavily influenced by African-American Cultural Iconography.

Beginnings and Growth

Kiyanna Stewart was born and raised in Brooklyn. So was Janna Handy. Stewart is an Educator with a Master’s degree in Women’s Study. Handy on the other hand is a Creative and Adjunct Professor. Stewart, influenced by her mother, began collecting as a teenager. In 2012, the two women met and a romantic relationship blossomed coupled with their love for all things vintage. As a result, they visited lots of thrift stores and flea markets together but unfortunately, hardly came across black vendors or artifacts.

This comes as no surprise at all since  a 2015 Mellon Foundation Study concluded that 84% of curators were white. Black curators only made up a paltry 4%. But determined to change this situation, Stewart and Handy began selling items at Brooklyn flea markets in 2014. Soon after, they also built their online presence on Etsy. However, the platform limited their presentation to intended buyers. The two strongly felt they needed a community of black buyers.

In the winter of 2018, they embarked on crowdfunding  for an ideal space in Brooklyn with one intention; a black community around them. This meant that their items had to be reasonably priced to be readily affordable. Blk Mkt Vintage now currently functions as a vintage shop cum museum. Each item sold, intentionally tells a deeper story about black societal ideals.

Blk Mkt Vintage Founders

Blk Mkt Vintage Founders and Curators, Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah Handy. Photo by Rayon Richards for July/August 2019 Essence Issue.

See also LOATAD

Address & Contact Details

465 Marcus Garvey Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11216, United States

+1 347-240-6694

Opening Hours

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