Star Booty: Mimi Reilly memorial zine

I was inspired to make a zine about Star Booty to memorialize Mignonne “Mimi” Reilly. After we lost Mimi, I saw someone post “St. Pete lost its Mom” and it was true. Mimi’s shop was the first place I ever saw zines as a teenager in the early 2000’s. After college when I moved back to St. Pete, I spent nearly every day working the counter for Ramblin Rose vintage while Mimi cut and colored hair in the back and became my dear friend and mentor. I don’t know if she knew the extent of the influence she had on so many of us, but I know she would have loved seeing all of us together again on Saturday, March 31st at her Celebration of Life event at the Factory. 

Available at the memorial by donation, the zine serves as a keepsake and archive of Star Booty from 1996 to now. The photos and images in the 40 page zine are from my personal collection and/or Mimi and Star Booty. Risograph printed in bright red, yellow, federal blue, and black, I used various halftones and graintouch to accentuate a grainy analog aesthetic. 

Risograph printed zine cover

St. Pete’s original rock and roll hair studio, est 1996, Star Booty has had a few different locations over the years. But 681 Central was its home for over 15 years, and it’s the shop many of us grew up in. Back then, the 600 Block looked entirely different. There were no hipster boutiques or poke bowl spots. Star Booty and Daddy Kool WERE quite literally the scene in St. Pete. It wasn’t just a punk rock hair salon. It was a place for misfits, weirdos, punks, and artists. In 2016 when rocketing rents forced her off the block, Star Booty found a new home, first next to Coney Island, and then in a building along 16th street South. No matter how much the city changed under gentrification, there was still Star Booty, and wherever Mimi went, we’d follow. She made everyone everyone everyone feel welcome. Such laid back cool. Tough, yet sunny. Her legacy is the community she built from the ground up. Nothing and no one will ever begin to replace her. She was truly one-of-a-kind, and we are all better people having known and loved her. She will never be forgotten. Mimi forever. 

The printing and production of the zine helped me begin to process my grief. I spent many nights over a couple weeks prepping, printing sheet by sheet -each going through 8 times, then collating, folding, stapling, and cutting, until something tangible emerges. Even still it doesn’t feel quite real. To my dear friend gone far too soon, I wish I would have made this zine when you were still here so you’d see how much you meant to us all. 

Star Booty zine will be on display at the upcoming Creative Pinellas Emerging Artists Exhibition, opening May 9th.

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