Foe Like The Enemy
Foe Like The Enemy is a vintage pop-up fashion store that sources vintage fashion from around the world. So if you’re looking for unique pieces from Los Angeles and Tokyo, but can’t afford the plane ticket, this is your ticket. We dropped in recently for a chat with owners Arka and Andy and took a couple of models with us. This is what went down.
Ok so first up, tell us the story behind Foe Like The Enemy?
It all really evolved from travelling around the world. We were hitting up so many vintage hotspots like Los Angeles & Tokyo and we were drawn to the amazing quality of clothes and figured there wasn’t anything like it in Sydney or at least for reasonable prices anyway.
At the time Andy was slinging bootleg Gucci bags on eBay and Arka was involved in a travel startup so it was only natural that we put our energy together to make something happen.
The name ‘FOE, Like The Enemy’ came about after we encountered a street hustler in downtown LA who insisted we visit him at the park to buy crack. He told us to ask for “FOE…not like the number, like the ENEMY”
How did you guys meet?
We met in year 8 on the ruthless handball courts of high school. Back when we were trading lunch snacks and listening to our anti shock discmans.
What kind of stuff do you look for on your travels?
We are trend based vintage traders so we keep an eye out for stuff that's wearable right now. Vintage sports wear seems to catch our attention wherever we go.
Basically, wearable but unique pieces that you can’t really get your hands on easily.
Do you have a favourite thrift store you like to visit?
We have a few. In Los Angeles we like to hit up Melrose Avenue. You also can’t really look past the Rose Bowl either, which is mammoth.
There are also a couple of spots in Shibuya and Shimokitazawa, Tokyo that we love.
Melbourne and Sydney also have some dope thrift stores, which I’m sure the locals would know about.
You guys have thrown a few pop up events/parties but you’re now looking for something more permanent? What are your plans, how do you intend to take Foe into the future?
We started off at markets around Sydney and then moved into popups. On top of running the shop, we also love throwing parties and getting local artists, photographers, stylists and musicians involved coz it feels like a natural collaboration. We’ve had the likes of Catcall, Adi Toohey & Marcus Whale all play sets at our parties!
The idea for FOE has always gone beyond the clothes. Ideally, it would be a fusion of art, music and fashion.
We're not the type of guys to just sit in a store.
We do want to go permanent so we can have a home and we will be announcing a store opening party and details in the near future so I guess our social media is a good way to stay connected with us.
Any tips for thrift shop enthusiasts. How to spot good buys, things to stay away from?
When in doubt we just think WWKD. ‘What would Kanye do?’ Then we make our decisions based on that.
Every buying trip we buy the ugliest t shirt we come across - that's usually the item that sells first so I would say don't stay away from anything coz you can probably make it work.
Except cowboy shirts….coz fuck cowboy shirts.
You’re currently located in Redfern, how are you finding it there and where would your ideal location in the city be to set-up?
Redfern is a melting pot right now and being here everyday it’s pretty interesting to see it grow. It still possesses that grittiness even though things are changing so quickly.
Our ideal space would be somewhere near a college or university, with good foot traffic that doesn’t have noise restrictions so we could blast tunes all day and throw parties.
Is that too much to ask for?
You guys are always playing good tunes when we walk in. Do you have any favourite Sydney producers / artists that we should check out?
We generally just play a lot of bangers but there is so much great music coming out of Sydney at the moment. Some favourites probably include Black Vanilla, Fishing, Retiree and Phondupe who are all doing good tings.
Finally, let’s wrap this up with some small talk about Sydney. I’m going to list a few things and you guys answer with your favourite spots etc.
Our favourite place to get coffee is…
Our early ‘business meetings’ started at Maldini’s Café in Strathfield so it’s sentimental but we love the roasts from Coffee Alchemy in Marrickville.
A good place to get tasty food is…
Shanghai Nights in Ashfield.
The old one with fluorescent lights & unicorn pictures. Quality dumplings & next level pork belly. Open till 3am every day so we fuck with that.
Our favourite beach is…
Red Leaf Bay coz it’s good for a quick swim and chills.
We like to drink at…
Goodgod Small Club. It’s the spot man. Shout outs to everyone at GG.
We shop at…
Overseas. Locally, Big W & Target. Basics bruh.