Step foot inside Shop 4, 450 Elizabeth Street, known from the store’s signage as the Disrupt boutique and you’re instantly greeted by an array of seriously cool, quirky, unique, high quality one off men’s and women’s garments, unisex jewellery, books and collectibles. An oasis, tucked away off one of the busiest streets of Sin City, this treasure trove of fresh gear has been a labor of love for owners Stu and Meg. There is no competition. Through word of mouth, Disrupt is carving out a reputation as the place to go for the finest threads around town. I caught up with the duo to pick their brains on their influences, the stores origins, their own projects and a whole lot more.
How has street culture, fashion, world events influenced you both?
The impact of all of these together is huge and the fact that they are constantly affecting each other always makes the changes interesting. With world events being what they are, it is nice to have the refuge of expression that art provides.
How did you both meet?
Inside a donkey suit, which accompanied the three wise men in the off Broadway hit 'From Jesus with Love'.
What was the motivation and inspiration behind the Disrupt concept?
To push different types of artistic expression that are unusual and separate to mainstream offerings and give local artists, including ourselves, a platform to show our wares.
In terms of planning the layout for the store, did it take longer to execute than originally envisioned?
The planning of the store occurred progressively. It has gone through several stages, since we have opened. To see the store evolve from it's minimal beginnings to it's Alice down the rabbit hole affect has been a fun ride and we look forward to still giving it the odd tweak here and there in the future.
Disrupt is located in a unique area, it is not surrounded by similar stores or in a mall. Was that an intentional decision?
We chose the shop space for its comfortable size that allows us almost a separate studio at the back, which has been a huge bonus. Obviously the more built up the area the harder it becomes to find a suitable environment.
What are the advantages / disadvantages of being located where you are?
Even though the store is removed from the main shopping areas which can be seen as a disadvantage, it still suits our personal ideal of being on the fringe of what is considered a conventional shopping experience. When people go out of their way to find something different and look for it off the beaten path it does tend to make the find that little bit more special.
What are some of the labels and artists whose clothing and artworks you stock?
The fashion we enjoy stocking the most are local artists with a strong graphic background. This also applies to original/print art works, books, and figurines covering the main trends of current street culture. These include Akina, Smitten, Lamstok, Rufus Green, People like Us, Ariel, N3FU, Tank Theory, Imaginary Foundation, Fourth World, Kid Robot, Strangeco, Last Gasp and many more.
How do you decide which product to stock?
We have designed a super computer that has-been programmed to evaluate items by giving readouts with a positive or negative conclusion. It also makes a mean coffee.
Which upcoming labels / designers / artists should we be on the lookout for?
Some great Aussie talents are Donna Sgro, for future inspired fashion design, Nathan Jurevicius for graphic and vinyl oddities, Jason Jacenko for super fly paint work, Spoonbill and Orange Dust for fresh music programming.
A lot of music, film, fashion – icons, their style has been, bitten time, time again.
Who do you believe has a real sense of style and originality in what they do and how they carry themselves?
Although no longer with us, Bill Hicks was the quintessential style master. He not only provided a voice for people disenfranchised with government, mass media and popular thought he made you have a good laugh while he did it.......god bless.
You are both separately working on your own clothing / design projects.
What are your influences? What is your vision for these?
Stu: Us vs Them is a t-shirt label that gives kids that Mentos fresh feeling without the carbon copy hang-ups. Controversial, comedic and culture crunching designs that-offer a wide variety of colorful alternatives to mainstream offerings. Influences are pop culture, Surrealism, comic books and the War on Terror.
Meg: Twiggy label vision is to bring a lash back at mass produced items to the irregular and the handmade, this involves pattern work created through raw illustration and translated onto other mediums with an immediacy that looks to reflect the love in which it was created, from. Influences are Aubrey Beardsley, Camille Rose Garcia and Junko Mizuno.
Disrupt store on My Space