IN FOCUS: Skunk Wear

They say some stars burn too bright. That some shops are too beautiful for this world. Skunk Wear in Perth CBD was one such shop. From memory, Hay St. 

It is baffling how so little information exists on the internet about this Perth icon. However, like a drunken text from the night before, it lingers in the back of our collective minds. We couldn’t forget about it if we tried.

Essentially, Skunk Wear was the complete cycle of crime – it catered to the tastes of juvenile delinquents and in turn, it helped juvenile delinquents graduate to criminals by enticing them to pop their shoplifting cherry.

It was so popular for shoplifting because every single person shopping in there looked like they were going to steal something, and everyone lurking out the front looked like they were going to steal something – what was security to do? Its loyal “customer” base had a very unified credo: you can’t arrest us all.

In terms of fashion, Skunk Wear had an urban, hip hop feel. You name it they had it: DaDa jeans, Ruff Ryder hoodies, silky FUBU singlets, garbs with weed leaves on them. It was a one-stop shop for kids who spit at bus stations and “tag” public transport with their 3 letters of their little hardcore skate crew.

Then without warning, almost as if Skunk Wear had ganked itself, it disappeared in the mid to late 2000s. Overnight, they stuffed our nostalgia into the baggy jeans of insolvency and left a void that would one day be filled by Culture Kings.

However, Culture Kings could never capture the same grit. It would never strip the paint off the rail of Perth culture with a gnarly nose grind as Skunk Wear did. After all, just because you throw in the same dickwit ingredients doesn’t mean you bake the same dickwit pie.

Skunk Wear briefly appeared in Kalgoorlie although little is known about this store nor whether it was connected to the Perth one. There is also a Skunk Wear flying the banner in Victoria.

Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?