Big Trouble Store has outgrown its modest Chinatown arcade space, moving into the old Halfsleeve site on Goulburn Street in Surry Hills.
Founder and owner Chris Low is addicted to sub-culture. He moonlights as a DJ and is a lover of jazz and Afrobeat. There’s a turntable behind the counter blaring an old Fela Kuti record.
Low travels the world to locate the latest trends and meet the designers driving them. “Even the labels we work with that have international accounts are only small companies. They cut to order so it’s important to build personal relationships. It’s always better to go and meet them than send them an email,” he says.
Doek Baskets line the shelves in a rainbow of colours. They’re proper vulcanised sneakers from a factory in Kurume City, Japan, which has been making footwear for 140 years. There’s hair product from Tokyo-based Denis and reconstructed workwear designs from Engineered Garments in New York.
Low’s commitment to American and Japanese military and workwear – an aesthetic that has infiltrated and informed streetwear for years – is the first thing you’ll notice upon walking into Big Trouble Store.
“It’s about the whole experience. That’s what we’re trying to tailor in this new site,” says Low of the relocation. “I like to think that we play fun music, and create a good environment for people to come in and hang out.”
Big Trouble Store is approaching its second birthday, but Low has worked in fashion retail for more than a decade. He saw a spot in the market for quality basics and filled it with force.
New York labels Post Overalls and 3sixteen sit comfortably alongside Japanese brands such as Edwin and orSlow. Both labels are home to movements that have a history of enlightening the other.
Here, there’s an overarching brief: street-style for those looking to find classic designs in premium fabrics and tailoring.
Big Trouble Store
Shop 3, 133 Goulburn Street, Surry Hills
Mon to Thu 11am–7pm
Fri to Sat 11am–6pm