Blacklist Vintage Opens in Mpls

A new vintage store called Blacklist had its official opening last Saturday night and I was right there, except without bells on.

Blacklist is owned by Jennifer Mumm and Vanessa Messersmith. It was great to see their friends turning out for the opening. There was a DJ duo and appetizers/snacks and a general feeling of festivity. They have a nice space that even has a low-ceilinged loft for guys vintage, a sometimes overlooked market.

I do have some location concerns – it’s on 27th Street right off Nicollet and the other businesses on it’s block seem to be either closed or temporary, with homemade signs in the window offering clothing for $10. The Nicollet corridor has made strides, to be sure, but since Blacklist isn’t on the main drag, they may have to work harder to let people know they’re there.

I’m not sure about the name, either. Blacklisted generally means being kept out of something or becoming persona non grata. An example would be the group of screenwriters in Hollywood during the Red Scare who were blacklisted and basically kept from working. It doesn’t have fun connotations, but to each their own. Maybe its some kind of reference to the clothes – that no one wanted to wear them anymore?

Anyway, there were some nice pieces there. I think the challenge with any vintage store is to try to find pieces that don’t fall too far into costume. There may be some very special somebodies out there who can wear a hot pink and green swirled polyester mini dress but not too many. You don’t want people to think of your store first when it’s Halloween costume time. I’m not saying this is an issue with Blacklist, but as they move forward it will be nice to see more “everyday” pieces that can be paired with new pants or skirts and less polyester in general.

Polyester in summertime is a big mistake. This fabric does not breathe. I learned this the hard way and now I’ve banished this fabric from my closet. Besides, who really looks good in polyester?

I ended up buying a turquoise belt that I can put with a black sleeveless dress I have. Except, of course, in order to wear the dress I need to alter the top and bring it in to make it tighter and not so blousey.

My friend Ellen bought a bag that she plans to use as a chic bike commuting bag and also a pair of scarves, which were on sale 2 for $11. She got one for me! I’ve been wearing it for the past two days around my neck as a “backwards ascot.” I’ve never really learned much about how to tie scarves so I just kind of throw it on and knot it and move it around until it looks OK.

The store didn’t have a lot of clothes on the racks. Well, they could use more racks, period. I would have liked to see more (the opening went from 8 p.m. until midnight – push out the racks of clothes! If you’re at a vintage sale on a Saturday night, you are hardcore!) and I’m hoping they will expand. True, it’s a fine line between “grandma’s overpacked attic” and a nicely edited store (the vintage champion for just the right amount of merch remains Rewind in Minneapolis).

It’s worth a trip to browse in the next couple of weeks as they get into the swing of things. If you want to make an afternoon of it, you could have food or drinks at Azia, Pancho Villa, The Bad Waitress or The Black Forest, to name a few spots. Oh, there’s also Spyhouse for coffee.