Having true style isn’t just about following what’s “in”, it’s about being one step ahead AND creating what everyone will want (even if they don’t know it yet). Peter Takis, 19, is the owner of BLACKLI$T, a new apparel and accessories shop that is the new go-to store for urban tastemakers in Winnipeg.
“We wanted to bring in certain brands and pieces you can’t find to Winnipeg,” Takis says. “One of the part-owners, Michael, does a lot of traveling, and there was a lot of elements from other cities we wanted to bring to Winnipeg, based a lot off of Montreal stores and Vancouver stores that he has been to, and worked with.”
BLACKLI$T opened only a month ago in an authentically urban area of Winnipeg – 75 Albert Street. Despite finding inspiration in shops around the globe, they wanted to maintain their connection to the local scene.
“What has happened in past stores, is when they do have local stuff it is tucked away in the back, or in a little corner that they don’t spotlight,” Takis says. “Where our marquee items should be, is where we put our local brands. We have 20 local brands on our shelf right now and we support them all.
“Whoever comes in and actually has a quality product to offer, we want to stock them.”
One of the many local brands BLACKLI$T carries is Local Advancers, the lifestyle brand that Takis created when he was only 15. Having received support from such music industry superstars as DMX, J Cole, Mac Miller and Big Sean, the designer feels confident merging this established brand with his brick-and-mortar shop.
“My brand is carried in our store, but it is transitioning to just BLACKLI$T,” he says. “I really like the Local Advancers message, it’s really upbeat, but I’ve matured, and I wanted to do something more risky, with similar messages, but in a different format.”
Normally, when you want unique, premium, or specialty merchandise, you’re going to be paying a little more for it, but Takis explains that this was not their aim with BLACKLI$T.
“Our first goal was to be the affordable alternative in the streetwear scene, but also the other big thing that we’ve been pushing is our Vintage Frames, and our F as in Frank, which brings affordable vintage gear to Winnipeg for the first time ever.”
Exclusive to BLACKLI$T, the Vintage Frames have gotten a lot of peoples’ attention, as repurposed quality vintage items that still look modern. “They are the same price as the new ones, but these frames were made between 1910-1980, they are unworn – we put in new lenses – so it’s a really unique experience,” Takis says. “There’s not a pair of sunglasses in our store that won’t be under 30 years old.”
So what does it mean to be on the BLACKLI$T?
“Obviously being on a blacklist has a really negative connotation, but the meaning of being on the blacklist, to our fans and demographic, is that they are a part of something.”