Laced Store Interview
Brisvegas has been on the come-up for the last three years courtesy of one humble streetwear store known as Laced and its two-man team Phill and Clint. The fellas have kept Brisneyland decked head-to-toe in the finest threads and with a tonne of elbow grease, they have now made their entire stock available online with their sparkling new website. What sets this crew apart is their unflinching love for the scene, which has allowed them to stay one step ahead of the pack without losing their roots. We caught up with them on the comedown from their Yeezy launch as they nursed callused finger tips from frantically getting the Laced website live!
Hey boys, how’s Brisvegas kickin’ along?
Orsum! Can’t fault it really... great weather and the fishing’s good! Just kidding we don’t get time to go fishing (sigh...frowny face!).
You guys have been mad busy with the relaunch of your website and online store – what took you so long to get it poppin?
We’ve just been taking the time to get it right. I guess we kind of underestimated the scope of the project and it took us way longer than we originally thought it would. Getting all our labels on board, all the product photography, setting up everything so it’s easy to navigate, sorting shipping and so on. Perfection just takes time you know... ha! But seriously, we just wanted to do it right and help put Brisbane on the map.
With the amount of online stores globally, how does Laced stand apart?
Being Australian-based, we wanted to offer a local alternative to the overseas stores and essentially expand our business Australia-wide, and of course worldwide. Shipping’s a killer if you’re ordering from OS so we offer $15 flat-rate shipping for anything to anywhere in Australia, and our international shipping is very reasonable too, especially with the exchange rate working in their favour. We try and concentrate on the things that set us apart from everyone else, we’re a bit of a one-stop shop and we get new stock every week – whether it’s sneakers, clothes, toys, laces, or keyrings – there’s always something new. We just think it’s cool that people can now go online and see exactly what we have in store at any one time... that’s new to us. And we just wanted to make the online store easy to use, easy to browse and find exactly what you’re looking for.
Let’s rewind for a sec, how did you guys meet and decide to open up a sneaker store?
We’ve known each other for 11 years now (having met through mutual friends) and we were always into the same stuff. I think the idea came from pure frustration about not being able to cop any heat in Brisbane, and we decided to do something about it. We’d always talked shit about owning our own business and I came up with the name and registered it five years ago, which was two years before we decided to stick our necks out. At that time (about three years ago) there was just Foot Locker in Brisbane for sneakers and it just felt like people were waiting for something to happen. The time was right and there was a void to be filled, so we found a spot and took the risk...
A risk that seems to have paid off! How has the retail climate changed over that time?
At the start it was a case of hoping that people were into what we liked, and there was quite a lot of educating involved, but over the last couple of years we have learned what people are into as well. It was just a lot of trial and error in seeing what people responded to, but now we have a better idea of what people like. It’s a big responsibility you know, it’s like we’re responsible for people looking and feeling good about themselves. We ask our customers what they like or want to see and they trust us to come up with the goods. It isn’t easy either to stock whatever we want in store. We’ve had to build confidence in our name, and we’ve had to pay our dues.
A lot of stores have had trouble maintaining faith in these tough times.
We’re really just trying to do something different to everyone else but still in the same sneaker/streetwear lane we’ve always been in. For us it’s about staying true to our style and being loyal to our brands. It’s a thin-line though, the streetwear steez has changed so much in such a short time, you have to move with the times and be good at picking trends.
You guys took it back to 2004 with an all-out line-up for the Yeezy launch – how did that go down?
It went really well, we were just stoked to be able to sell such a high profile sneaker. We released them on a Tuesday and people were camping on the Sunday night prior – now that’s dedication. The demand outweighed supply so those who really wanted them put in the effort. We didn’t have a party really, just a few beers and a raffle for people who couldn’t line up. Everyone was there for the shoes, and those who waited were kinda tired. They got what they wanted, and pretty much went home.
Do you think we’re finally seeing a return to the excitement we all used to have in collecting sneakers, with this new generation coming up?
It’s always exciting when you first get into it, but like anything, the excitement wears off after a while. I think collectors refine their taste and really start honing in on their grails and what not. But yeah, we all go through stages, it just depends on what’s coming out. The more collectors there are, the more exciting the game gets, especially if the numbers are limited. One excitement the new generation can never experience is tracking down shoes before the internet came into play... collecting has changed forever. Gone are the days where travelling or searching could mean true exclusivity.
Ah, god bless the internet! With the website up and running and the online store cranking, what’s coming up next for Laced?
We’ve always got something on the boil. Right now we’re planning a few colabs (no hints) and doing more Laced tees... woo hoo! And we turn three in September so we have to make that a big one! Oh and we may or may not have some highly confidential, secret plans for upstairs...