Meet Surry Hills Market stallholders!
Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre is grateful to Alli Sebastian Wolf for doing the interview with Tony Chaplin from Big Lapel Vintage and taking the photos of him and his delightful dog Bradley!
Surry Hills Markets have been an integral part of the Surry Hills community from 1981. Every month we open the opportunity to have a stall at our market to new merchants and one-off applicants, and also have a long-standing group of regular stallholders who have been an important part of the Markets for many-many years.
Meet one of our regulars – Tony Chaplin from the Big Lapel Vintage!
How did you get started?
I was always into vintage fashion and collecting vintage clothes – it started out with me collecting way too many of my own clothes so I needed to sell some. Surry Hills being the epicentre of vintage fashion, I decided to do a stall here. What started as a way to sell my excess wardrobe became a thriving business. Vintage has always been popular and Surry Hills is such a reliable market for that. Because your pieces are so unique you can spot it when people come back to the market in the next months wearing something you sold them and that’s so satisfying. You get a lot of return customers. With all vintage stalls every piece is unique, people love that variety.
Do you have a most exciting find?
I can still go right to the day I found it – in an op-shop warehouse in the western suburbs, just sitting on a couch was a Float-A-Bar; a perspex dome you could have floating in your pool with compartments for different snacks and drinks. And a big gold label saying Float-A-Bar on the side. It was such a great item, it got so much attention. Whenever I see something like that I always pick it up, it was such a great piece.
What is the most interesting part of your day at Surry Hills Markets?
I love the interaction with the locals and the people who come to the market – it’s not just about selling, it’s about those interactions, it’s a lovely day out.
A big part of that must be your fabulous dog Bradley –
He’s the mascot, the ambassador for Big Lapel Vintage; so many people come back to see him. He loves the attention, loves the pats and interacting with the other dogs.
Does the environmental impact of fast fashion play a role in your passion for vintage?
Throughout my life I may have bought less new items than i could count on my fingers. I always buy second hand. And them when I’m done with them I sell it or donate it – it’s all about recycling. I get a lot of joy out of seeing people buy a piece they love, that looks great on them.
Meet Tony & Bradley and other wonderful stallholders at Surry Hills Market every first Saturday of the month!