If the past year has taught us anything here at CUUP, the quest for the perfect bra is by and large no different than the quest for the perfect couch. Go with us here… As foundational pieces, they both provide something soft, pleasurable, and inviting to lean into--the kind of addition that will offer any space support and ease, as much as it does style. In essence, these are two pieces that really pull the place together. And with so many of us retreating inside this past year in the wake of health, racial, and political pandemics, the connection between underpinnings and interiors has only grown stronger.
The sensorial impact we have missed from touch has instead been transferred to our surroundings. The quest for a well-appointed credenza, mid-century coffee table, or the best linen sheets is not just a distraction from *gesticulates at the status of the world* but a fixation on creating a space of serenity and self-expression that life indoors has largely stifled. Turning our home into our world, we have become much more intentional about the things we begin placing inside--and the lives lived within.
Hence, why with our new series, HOMEBODY, we are gaining a peek inside the interiors--and interior lives--of CUUP’s biggest muses. Besides design tips, you’ll learn how others are drawing the most precious things closer--from bras, community, to linens.
Up first? Kiyanna Stewart of BLK MKT Vintage who makes us feel right at home. The Brooklyn-born, New Jersey-based vintage dealer has an exacting eye for finding, restoring, and selling some of the rarest of Black historical ephemera--an eye she has transferred onto her stunning home she shares with her partner, Jannah, and her two doggos.
Let’s have a look inside...
KIYANNA WEARS THE BALCONETTE IN TAUPE.
WHAT'S ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE?
A lot more than I would like. I’m an aspiring minimalist; still working at it. On my bedside table, there’s a rotation of books, incense, lots of jewelry, pieces of coral my partner found for me, a crystal given to me by my BFF, a mid-century Blackamoor lamp, and my diffuser.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN THE HOUSE?
The bedroom, by far. I live with my partner, Jannah and our bedroom is our sanctuary. It’s bright, spacious, and filled with lots of plants. Comfort and safety were our priorities when conceptualizing the space and we were very intentional. All of the art on the walls either depict or were created by Black women and it’s representative of the ways we center Black femmes/women in our lives. It’s a soft place to land, always.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAMILY HEIRLOOMS YOU TREASURE?
I don’t have many family heirlooms, which I think played a role in how I arrived at my work with BLK MKT Vintage. I do, however, have hundreds of family photos that are really important to me. My favorite photo is of my dad and uncle as young boys back home in Jamaica before moving to the U.S. I’m moved every time I see that photo and I hold it near and dear to my heart.
WHAT BOOKS MAKE UP YOUR STACK THIS MONTH?
TELL US ABOUT YOUR HALF-DRESSED AT HOME UNIFORM (BESIDES A CUUP BRA):
I generally like as little clothing/fabric as possible (which my partner, Jannah also loves), so if I’m in my CUUP undies/bra at home, I throw on my oversized indigo Free People caftan. I also have a thick Dusen Dusen striped robe that is probably the comfiest item in my closet right now. I call it my “housecoat” because it sounds nice. If it’s chilly in the crib, I’ll add some sweats to keep it loose and loungy.
FAVORITE CANDLE TO BURN:
I love, love, love my Joy candles by LIT Brooklyn. There are at least 8 floating around the house in different places and they smell incredible -- blood orange/grapefruit is my favorite!
KIYANNA WEARS THE BALCONETTE IN TAUPE.
FAVORITE PIECE YOU'VE PURCHASED IN QUARANTINE?
Before our annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard last August, I bought a bomb ass Cynthia Rowley wetsuit. I’m not typically into neoprene surf suits (remember, I don’t like a lot of fabric), but it was well worth the investment. Fits like a glove and gives me something to look forward to once it warms up again on the east coast.
WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL SECURE & HELD IN YOUR HOME?
My crew--Jannah, Lola, and Fela. When I think of home, the three of them are it. Therapy, quiet, and cleanliness/order help me feel most held in my space. As much as I love my work, the separation of business and the rest of my life is absolutely critical. I feel most secure when I can nurture all the parts of me as they need tending to.
KIYANNA WEARS THE SCOOP IN BLACK.