After calling Hunter Street home since 2019, LAATE has now moved to Merewether Street, bringing a fresh vibe with it. The couple behind LAATE, Laura and Adam, have created an integral part of the Newcastle skate scene, with an eclectic mix of local and international skateboarding apparel available for customers.
Both skaters themselves, Laura and Adam have always had a passion for all things skate culture, and decided to turn their passion into their livelihood.
"Adam and I were both working in retail jobs in the skate industry, and we noticed a gap in the market for a store that was skater-owned and run and focused on Australian labels first and foremost. We thought, why don’t we open a space that is a genuine part of the skate culture, rather than just profiting from it?” Laura said.
The brand-new space can only be described as sleek and minimalistic, but it still showcases skate-related artworks and local and international skate brands. The big glass windows at the shop front are definitely a stand-out feature. “We got this space in May, and then we took about a month to renovate, reopen, and slowly start refilling it back up with stock. We wanted to keep the interior really minimal so we can change everything around, but still have space to display art and different things that happen in here.”There’s even a new logo to suit the inviting and unique area. “We cleaned up the logo and made it bolder, so it’s a bit different now. But it’s nice and clean and fresh which I think probably fits this space better.”And of course, a bit of the store’s history has a place in the new shop.
“Two of our racks are made out of this piping from our old shop that I really liked, so we kept that to try and bring it through and keep that history.”
But one of the best parts about the new space has to be the location.
“We’re really close to the skate spot, it’s right behind us, so we can skate or teach lessons in the quiet periods which is really convenient!”
LAATE’s main appeal is focusing on individual customer needs, rather than trying to cater to the masses.
“Because it’s just Adam and I who are usually in here, we get to really know the customers, and we really focus on picking on items that each customer likes. If you come here and shop all the time, we can recommend a collection, or style of t-shirt, or just try and get specific things that you’ll like.”
Although customers can expect a sleek new space, the store is still centred around a strong community vibe and bringing like-minded people together.
“They can just feel a cleaner, more open store, but still have that friendly aspect of coming to hang and watch a video or read all the skate mags that Adam has in his little skate library. We still have that link to the culture from the team – from documenting and sharing our skate magazine archives with customers to the spot behind us."
If you want to see what the local Newcastle skate scene is all about, then you need to head to LAATE and check it out.
“We’re focusing on the cool local Australian brands that are here, because the local scene brings the culture.”