Posted on 1st Dec 2014
Trash Monkey – where only the Cool Trash will do!
Ever wondered why you spend so much time and energy aimlessly trawling through the internet and social media to find the next best thing, 'to die for', 'one of a kind garment', only to find you have fried your brain and proved to yourself that it is just not as much fun as it used to be! Well you are not alone! I had the pleasure of meeting with some of the zany crew at the newly founded Trash Monkey store in Brisbane a few weeks ago and really started to get flashbacks of what shopping in a real life store, with real life people (albeit somewhat animated) felt like!
Trash Monkey is a brave new concept store initially choosing the Southport retail district as its home on the Gold Coast in March and then expanding to its second store in Fortitude Valley Brisbane just last month. The store roots are inspired by Kustom Kulture from the 50's right up to 80's, 90's Rockstar glam and 'NOW' designs that will make your heart flutter! The origins stemming from the greasers of the 50's, these stores are set to embark on the epic journey of bringing all the sub cultures that have evolved from rockabilly, punk, mods through to metal, psychobilly and so much more! Many of these styles that would not have tolerated each other in the past can now come together to embrace the future and offer inspiration to a growing population of youth looking for an outlet to showcase their individuality. Not to mention the large majority of shoppers who are positively bored with current mainstream offerings. Boring, boring and more boring.
Funnily enough, I immediately got the sense of something special from the store when I arrived to meet some of the team with floor to ceiling wall mural dominating a space behind the counters that would normally be for merchandise but was totally dedicated to local Brisbane pop culture artists Rod Bunter and Ben Werner.
I was blown away by a menagerie of colours so far removed from even the usual alternative stores where black seems to take over and no light is allowed in! On this occasion I met with the beautiful alternative model and Trash Monkey stylist Lauren Rebelle, shown on the right, with her bright turquoise hair and totally individual style that you could liken to 'warhol pop art diva meets zombie rag doll '. “I totally fit in here and actually venture out of the house in the day to do something I enjoy. Trash Monkey has become like family to me and there is such a creative and inspired team here, it is just great to be a part of it”said Lauren.
Trash monkey seems to delight in supporting creative performers, models, designers, artists and musicians and there is an eclectic mix on the staff in both stores that is for sure. The delightful BeBe Lebuff was fussing over styling some lovely lady clients when I arrived and I was certainly put at ease as I reclined in the custom made 52 Chev couch (that matches Laurens' hair colour) to peruse the latest Deadbeat magazine while soaking up some of the nostalgic tunes. Oh my goodness, was that me toe tapping! Picture perfect Miss BeBe Le Buff (along with the rest of the team) has been working her charm in both stores and has also been involved in styling and modelling for Trash Monkey. Is there nothing this Trash Monkey team won't do? “ I was thrilled about the concept and thought processes behind Trash Monkey stores and I just had to be a part of it. I know the owners are so passionate about restoring a culture of belonging and breaking down barriers of taboo and I am all for that. The customers are so diverse, even the mums and dads are finding something to wear in the store!” says BeBe. “My biggest problem working with Trash Monkey is choosing from the cat suit, amazing Australian designed 50's bathers and the fluorescent orange vintage terry towelling jumpsuit. I have to work my butt off to pay for all these delightful garments. A slave to fashion I am!” Miss BeBe Lebuff is well known for her burlesque performances and workshops and has aligned with Trash Monkey to happily help bring some glamour back to Brisbane and the Gold Coast through her classes.
Well, Trash Monkey is the new kid on the block and if first impressions are anything to go by then I think that the monkey is just the solution to a lot of peoples fashion and shopping woes! Trash Monkey combines collectable vintage items, with upcoming new labels, a shoe selection to die for and an opportunity to customise your own Trash Monkey look.
“Blah Blah Blah” was added by the Trash Monkey to check if you were still reading as he fears that print media is currently an identified threatened species. Oh yes very cute! Trash Monkey of course refused to be interviewed as apparently he believes that the shop is not about him but all the
amazing people contributing to it. Plus apparently he is butt ugly,
that Monkey, and far too busy eating bananas!
Stand out in the crowd or get the perfect outfit from alternative bridal couture to perfectly worn in cut off denims and tartan! BTW, did I mention the fabulous shoes... a secretaries pure delight!
Visit the Trash Monkey mothership store at 77b Scarborough St (upstairs) Southport, Gold Coast. Or visit Shop 9/8 Duncan St,Chinatown Mall, Fortitude Valley Brisbane. Or you can find the
Monkey online www.trashmonkey.com.au or keep up with their antics on facebook. In parting ways with the Monkey team I felt safe in the knowledge that they were putting the 'detail' back into
'retail' and the message was clear that they are all about 'in theflesh' retail and creating an experience and sense of belonging toall walks of life. To tell you the truth, from where I sit here at my
computer after many hours with no interaction with real lifepeople, I can honestly say that is one of the best things I haveheard in a long time. Thank you Trash Monkey team and here iswishing youall the success in the future and I have no doubt thatwe will see Trash Monkey stores popping up all over Australia sometime soon.
Ace Hoozat, Australian Store Detective
Imagine seeing the world where the colours are all wrong. It’s hard to envision how much it would affect your life without experiencing it first hand. Driving would become much more tedious task. Reading signs would become impossible in some cases. Even picking out the finest retro clothing would become a difficult mission. One would assume a creative outlet like [...]