When BLK MKT Vintage opened in the fall of 2014, owners Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah Handy knew they wanted the space to feel like the “Blackest antique store possible”. For years, Stewart and Handy, partners in life and business, scoured estate sales and the farthest-reaches of Etsy to help populate their shop, an homage to bygone eras of Black culture often overlooked by their counterparts in the vintage community.

“When we first started this business, what was really important to us was that folks knew that there was a place for them in vintage,” Handy says. “No matter your price point, no matter where you were coming from or how you identified, you can find something from your history that helps you tell your story.”

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Today, BLK MKT Vintage operates as a sort of living capsule of Black taste; vintage T-shirts from pioneering designers like Patrick Kelly, the first Black designer from the US to be admitted to the French Chambre Syndicale, share space with archival editions of Jet magazine. In 2024, plenty of secondhand haunts stock clothing, home goods, and old records, but few paint as vivid a narrative as the snapshot of Black excellence on display in Bed-Stuy.

Crucially, the store also boasts a $5 table that is regularly replenished with magazines, postcards, pins, and other tchotchkes. (On a recent visit, this writer left with a pristine copy of Ebony featuring a dazzling Beverly Johnson on the cover and a Sade vinyl that plays like new.)

Step Inside BLK MKT Vintage Brooklyn's Time Capsule of Black Excellence

Doug Guida

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