Vintage clothing and retro sneakers have taken Australia by storm in recent times.
We’re talking rock band tees, neon Adidas windcheaters from the 1990s and Air Max Tailwinds.
On the back of Sean Wotherspoon and his headlining Air Max 1/97, many have become aware of his presence within the sneaker scene. With that awareness, also comes the recognition of Round Two.
Seen as the leader in buying and trading vintage clothing, Round Two became more than the go-to place to grab the hottest pieces of streetwear. They evolved into a community that is built on reminiscing and appreciating the rarity of streetwear pieces that have stood the test of time.
And no one knows this better than Sydney’s very own, The Stitch Up.
Opening up in mid-December in 2018, the store has thrived on the idea of giving people a space to share their favourite nostalgic moments growing up.
Whether it be kicking back on the couch, playing video games or talking about the hottest sneaker drops; The Stitch Up has become a second home for many.
Located at 583 King St in Newtown , the store was started by two Sydney mates who had a crazy passion of collecting interesting stuff. Over time, the collection grew and the items became more interesting. And so what better way to share this than by opening a vintage store for the community.
We caught up with store owners, Alex and Kirk to find out more on the store and all things vintage!
Check out the interview down below!
Why did you guys start? What are you guys all about?
AK: We like old stuff and love collecting interesting shi*t. We’re basically hoarders and we always wanted to start a store. We were also sick of paying stupid prices for stuff that you don’t need to pay that much for.
We just wanted to change it up a bit and have a crack into doing something for ourselves.
We’ve been following stores in the USA like Round Two and Generation Cool for a while now. We saw many people on it in the States and really wanted to jump on the wave before anyone else does it in Australia.
We’ve had people from come through and tell us that this was what Australia needs.
We want to create a time capsule. It’s a nostalgia thing where people walk in and be like “I remember this, I remember that”.
We had these Looney Tunes cups, the ones you got from Movie World and this guy came in and grabbed the entire collection.
We’ve seen quite a few vintage stores pop up in Sydney and Melbourne in recent times, what makes The Stitch Up different?
AK: We got literally stuff. unlike our competitors, we don’t really stick to just clothes. We got random things like toys and even a big collection of shoes.
We’re fairly cheaper as well… it’s a bit intimidating to walk into a store and see a t-shirt going for $400.
We want to create an environment where people just come into the store, hang on the couch, play video games and just talk sh*t with us. We want to share the love… it’s not about getting them (customers), selling them a product and getting them out.
You go into these (other stores) and its more about the sale and not so much the connection. We’re always down to kick back and talk sh*t with you for two hours. We’ve made so many mates just through the shop and they come through every now and then to help out.
And the meaning behind the name?
AK: I (Kirk) literally just woke up and was like yeap this is what we’re calling it. I called Alex and he agreed to run with it.
And it makes sense with what we have in the store. We got the toys, shoes, clothes all in one place. These things have been stitched up together.
Many are aware of who Sean Wotherspoon is and the concept behind his store Round Two. With the Nike Sean Wotherspoons making headlines this past year and even up till now, would you say he’s played a big role in popularising vintage clothing?
AK: Definitely. The people in the know will know he’s an influencer in vintage clothing.
However, there are still people who come through our store and are into vintage, don’t even know who Sean Wotherspoon is … so no not really.
But for the masses, he’s made thrifting and vintage shopping “cool”. Personally, we’ve always watched Round Two and have been a fan.
For people like us, he’s been a massive inspiration. We used to watched the shows on Youtube and tell ourselves that we should do this one day, and now we’re here.
We remember him (Sean Wotherspoon) being in skate magazines and he was a mad SB head. He had a podcast episode with No Jumper where he talks about slowly moving product at school and then turning that into skate shops with his mates. And that was a mad inspiration for us.
But then again there are heaps of other people who are way more low-key. There’s a guy on Instagram called sneakermoe_eazy and he’s got way more fire than Sean Wotherspoon. So in saying that, Sean’s brought it to the masses and “hyped it up” but in terms of being the sole influencer, not really.
Do you think vintage clothing is currently at its most prominent?
AK: Probably…. But it’s not as big as what it could be right now cause you have those individuals wanting to buy brand new Gucci and stuff like that. But we don’t see it dying it off or slowing down like fast fashion.
More people will understand that this is good for the environment and that this is the way of the future… having stuff that no one else has or will ever have since they won’t ever make them anymore.
The quality of these clothes is so much better than anything nowadays. If you look at the 1980s tees and even this 90s tee that I’m wearing now, there’s no holes, still wearable and you can stretch the sh*t out of it.
I watched this thing the other day about cotton farmers stealing water from this place in Australia to make fast fashion and sh*tty clothes. So vintage clothing really changes this.
Explain the process of trading and buying from your end. How do you guys value the items that come through — are there any particular aspects you keep an eye out?
AK: We pick it up, look at the quality and size. Make sure there’s no holes. We have pretty good idea on what things are worth so we’ll just value it. Say an item’s worth $100 – we’ll give 50% for store credit and 25% cash.
Supply and demand is also important. Like if someone brings in a fresh Bape shirt doesn’t mean its gonna sell at the moment. So you gotta let that sort of stuff go.
Also, the hard thing as well is that what you personally find hot might not be liked by others. I remember when I was young and into skate brands, I would always be like I want that but then you realise that f*ck no one else wants that, it’s just me.
You have to remind yourselves to get things that you can move. But you also wanna get things that’s cool… we don’t want second grade stuff that every other store has.
There was this Muhammad Ali Supreme t-shirt and we had trouble pricing it… It just goes to show there’s so much to know in the vintage world. It’s kinda hard to keep up to date with everything.
Every brand has its own hype aspects to it as well as market fluctuations.
At the end of the day it’s only worth what someone wants to pay for it.
What’s the craziest/rarest thing that’s come through the store?
AK: We’ve received some pretty rare Tailwinds and we all know how rare Tailwinds are.
There was this one Supreme x Patagonia jacket from 1998 worth around 700 USD.
We also have 1 of potentially 250 Nike Air Max 180 Livestrong.
In terms of rarity, we’ve had some crazy Supreme pieces come in.
Even the Nike Tn Ceramic toy, that was a crazy find.
At the time, there were these 1:20 scale Air Jordan toys. So after the guy who designed the Nike Air Prestos got fired, he was salty and made his own baby Presto toys. They were super limited and we managed to get some in.
Today’s Air Max Day, what does the celebration mean to you? Nike announced that this year’s Air Max Day aims to celebrate their Give Fresh Air initiative. It seems as though you’re trying to embrace that theme today?
AK: Celebrating what we were wearing growing up. We just want to like to give back to the community especially with some of the steals that we have in the store.
What are your guys’ favourite Air Max?
Alex: I have too many shoes to have a favourite. But I love the Air Max 120 – the ones that looked like Spiderman webs.
I’ve been a fan of the hybrids that Nike have been coming out with like the Wotherspoons and Air Max 97 Plus.
I also love the Nike Tailwind Shox and Nike Air Max 98 Modular – those are super dope.
Kirk: I have to say the Patta x Air Max 1 Premium ‘Chlorophyll’. The price tag is pretty crazy (worth $5k) so it’s a bit of a bummer… but I love anything Patta. I love the colour schemes of Patta and the sleekness of the Air Max 1 silhouette.
What are some future plans for The Stitch Up. What can fans expect in the coming years?
AK: We hope to become a staple for sure and to be here for a long time.
We’re organising video game competitions and swap meets where we take out parts of the store and let people come in and sell their own stuff in here.
We’re gonna keep pumping the live music.
And hopefully one day when more people know who we are, we can open up a few more shops.
End of the day, we want to build a spot that lets people do what we love but on a smaller scale.
Be sure to check The Stitch Up out for all your vintage clothing needs. Don’t forget to follow them on their socials to be updated on the hottest steals!
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