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04 Mar 2008

Industry News

Highs And Lows - Perth

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Highs and Lows (HAL) have been blessed with a strong word of mouth campaign that has seen them become one of Perth’s top skate and street wear shop. We caught up with the gang as they prepare to open another chapter in the HAL book, with a new store, online website, and a new line of apparel designed strictly by “local cats”. Strap yourself in as we get the Highs and Lows of HAL!

Hey boys, how is the Perth scene going?
The Perth scene is nice, kids are getting psyched for the new year of releases, the heat is unbearable and according to our local newspaper, everybody is broke but people are still managing to purchase sneakers on a weekly basis. Our customers are a little more aware of what they want and a little more educated on what they are buying which is good to see. Aside from that, Perth is chill as per usual.

Give us the lowdown on the HAL crew, who is involved.
The HAL crew consists of four guys with a shared love for shoes, skateboarding, music and all things street. Because Perth is so tight we get a-lot of support from a wide spectrum of people and we try to offer the same support in whichever way we can. There’s a-lot of involvement going down.

What trends are you seeing arising in Western Australia that may differ from the rest of the nation?
I guess most of the trends that occur in Perth have generally occurred elsewhere before we’ve adopted them. The electro epidemic is still blowing the fuck up, new jacks still want the patent leather and the pretty colours, older heads still want the re-issues and the jocks still want whatever their girlfriends pick out for them. Perth is a pretty mixed bag, but that’s why we love it.

It would seem that there are really only a few stores that cater to the street wear sneaker-loving consumer in Perth. Is there just not a big enough market for the culture out there and do you find it difficult to push your product.
We’ve seen large growth in the last couple of years since we opened, suggesting that there is definitely a big enough market to support the street wear scene. A few little shops have popped up here and there following a similar line to what we are doing, which proves that the culture is definitely growing and cats want a piece of the action. At the end of it all, we don’t see the public’s current obsession with street fashion dying out anytime soon.

We hear through the grapevine that you fellas are opening a new store. That’s very exciting for you guys. Will it be a bigger and better version of the original store, or do you have other plans for the new shop?
It’s definitely a very exciting prospect. To say it’s going to be bigger and better than the original store would be taking away from it so instead we’ll say that the new store is going to have a completely different layout to our current store, will be of similar size and is going to be buttery in every sense of the word.

What will the new store provide to customers that have not been catered for as yet?
We’re quite happy with the clientele that have supported us for the last couple of years so we’re still going to be catering to that market. However, the new store is going to see a completely different class of people so while we want to appeal to them, we also want them to appreciate how we get down and to want to be a part of that.

We rarely hear too much about your store because you guys seem to be very low key as apposed to say Provider or Apartment. Is this a conscious decision?
Johnny Drama of entourage fame once said, “I don’t like to advertise”. We’ve taken a page from his book but we also heavily depend on word of mouth for our stores growth and success. We’re going to have a fully functional website up and running this year with an online store and all that jazz so I guess you can count that as a form of advertising. Aside from that, we aren’t really going to touch any other forms of media because we don’t feel it’s necessary.

You already have your own line of tees with the hip-hop parodies of Wu-Tang, Kanye and EPMD. Explain to us how this came about and will you be making ventures outside of just tees and into more apparel?
The hip-hop parodies came through our appreciation of all things hip-hop and how it has influenced the direction of the store. Aside from some basic hats and belts we haven’t really ventured too deep into in-store apparel. Actually, now would be a good time to plug the new range of tees dropping early this year, coinciding with opening of the new store. They’ve been designed by local cats and will blow minds all over the place.

Ever had one of the sneaker brands approach you for a colab as yet? It seems that most stores these days are co branding with sneaker labels which is a perfect way of promoting your store, I mean look at the hype being set up globally with the Provider x NB shoe.
Being a smaller store in Perth it’s much harder to get the sort of coverage required to collaborate with a footwear brand. If we were ever approached to apply our name to a silhouette though, we’d be on it like white on rice.

What’s up next for Highs and Lows and how will you continue to top yourselves in this ever-growing competitive market?
Up next? Bumping the new store, supplying the fiends and doing what we love. It’s definitely worked for us so far.Shout outs to Woody and the whole Sneaker Freaker family, Supply, Provider, Footage, Apartment and all the other stores doing what it do. Thanks to all the hustlers and most importantly you, the customers.

For more info on Highs and Lows hit the link

And their sparkling new store here

04 Mar 2008

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