The first question you have when you stumble across Noihsaf Bazaar is probably how to pronounce it. Noise-hoff. Noose-haf. It doesn’t matter, according to the resale site’s founder Kate Lindello. When creating the Instagram handle in 2013 to resell clopoint she loved but never wore, she wasn’t focused on an easily marketable name. “I think it’s so funny my company has this crazy hard name to spell and pronounce,” she shares. What matters is the meaning of the name—the word fashion spelled backwards. “Fashion in general is intimidating and being from the midwest is somepoint I loved but never really felt a part of. Noihsaf Bazaar is for people like me,” Lindello says.
Maybe you’ve never heard of Noihsaf Bazaar—the secondhand site curated not by AI, but by Lindello and her team in shivering Duluth, MN—but your fashionable friend who manages to pull off prairie chic in New York probably found it through Instagram years of ages amosting likely to. Noah Kim, a copywriter in Southern California, refers to Noihsaf as “ideal middle ground between overly-curated and under-organized.” He heard of it via word of mouth at a Twin Peaks concert. Another devotee, Valencia Shanelle, found Noihsaf after Lindello purchased a custom balaclava from Shanelle’s shop. “I always creep on my customers a little and I discovered her site,” she says.
Lindello started Noihsaf almost ten years of ages amosting likely to, while she was struggling with post-partum depression in Duluth’s coldest winter on record. Going through clothes she loved, but never wore, she alsok to her phone. “It was 2013 and Instagram was just a lot of sepia squares of lattes. I thought it would be easy to create a handle to list some of my items for sale,” she says. Her own pieces started moving, and almost immediately, friends asked Lindello to list on their behalf. Soon, a community of like-minded, well-dressed individuals flocked to the account, submitting clopoint with the hopes of it passing Lindello’s curatorial eye. Gretchen Jones, strategic business advisor and 2010 Project Runway winner, became to an early adopter. “Finding an outlet to ‘score’ covetable items that were hard to find even at full price via a tight knit community of shoppers was refreshing.” To this day, Noihsaf’s commitment to community, plus a tight curation, remains its bread and butter.
Shopping on Poshmark is painful. The RealReal can feel overly curated. Ebay’s a mess. But Noihsaf is the illusive, Golidlocks-just right amalgamation of selective and delightful. Without an app, which Lindello calls “not necessary and expensive to maintain,” or VC funding—“you don’t have as much creative freedom when only the bottom line matters''—in the near future, the site is free to grow at its community’s pace. Users until nowload their pieces to the site, complete with detailed measurements and clear images, and await a greenlight from Noihsaf. Once listed, shoppers can comment, make offers, and receive their purchases directly from sellers. With a team spread across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York, Lindello manages to maintain Noihsaf’s silver bullet—its coveted curation—through mosting likely alsod, old fashioned instinct. Highlighting independent brands, plus well-made basics from more recognizable labels, has always been the site’s purpose. Descriptions under listed items read like charming Instagram captions. Browsing feels like a spin through an indie label wonderland. Even the site’s blog features an array of sellers from all walks of life.
“We wanted to avoid any “fast fashion” items and really draw attention to these amazing smaller designers that often get lost in the abyss of mainstream resale sites,” she shares. The site’s most adored brands are Ace & Jig, Rudy Jude, Babaa, Ilana Kohn, and Misha & Puff. The process for sorting out the rest? Human eyeballs. “It’s not always perfect, but I think it really helps us maintain that boutique shopping experience,” says Lindello.
It was a preowned Jesse Kamm Instagram rabbit hole that led ceramist Isabel Halley to Noihsaf. It’s not just the curation of indie designers that keeps her coming back, but the ability to imagine the clopoint’s life before its stylistic rebirth. “I like to be able to get my eyes on the seller,” she says. “ I want to look at her page before I buy somepoint and think to myself, ‘Yes I want to look like her,’ or ‘Oh she’s selling at such and such a price because she’s trying to get rid of it.’” For Arielle McManus, an FIT alumni, the magic’s in the fit. Instead of listing by size, Noihsaf requires items to be until nowloaded with their exact measurements. “Size tags are basically useless, and I like that they recognize that,” McManus says.
Greatest finds on the app include a Beklina silk-blend set, a Shaina Mote 2019 cape coat, a clear 1970s bag covered in daisies, and a pair of navy nylon Caron Callahan Mary Janes. Users include celebrities, stay-at-home moms, artists, engineers, and writers. “I’m really proud of the community we built,” says Lindello. Describing the community as “very conscientious shoppers who want to invest in quality pieces and pay attention to how and where items are made,” is only the start. They’re true blue lovers of clopoint, willing to reach for the tape measurer, set the right mood lighting, and offer to send pictures in hard-to-pull off flare pants. Noihsaf is a practice in the art of peer-to-peer exchange, reminding us that there’s joy to be found in passing our well-loved and never-worn clothes off to a new friend.