By Taj Minter Naughton
Tell us a little bit about you and your shop? My name is Sammy Rodrigo & I opened The Rodrigo Lounge 3 years ago in Newtown. It’s a consignment shop-Meaning people bring me their clothes & I sell them & I do a 50/50 split if they sell. I take vintage, designer, recycled, up cycled & local artists clothing, jewellery, bags, shoes, accessories & art. We also support local artists by allowing them art launches, giving them a night to “officially” call themselves an artist with music, champagne & to invite their friends & family to celebrate & (hopefully!) buy their art & (again hopefully!) our clothes!
I started with garage sales at my house, then rented a tiny shop off king St, Newtown & now a bigger shop on king St. It has my studio in the middle of it we’re other artists join me to create, custom make & sell their art & clothes. The shop has Literally my lounge room in it. My big red velvet couch & chairs, big gold palm tree formally from the YSL shop & my blue tongue lizard who lives in the bottom of the jewellery cabinet.
I come from a family of artists & was trained in everything art by my father, who’s art (not for sale!) is in the shop. My work history is in designer consignment ,modelling , styling. I’m part Sri Lankan Burgher, raised Australian,European & Sri Lankan & I love Punk, Art, fashion & recycling.
Model: Menuka Stylist: Sammy Rodrigo Photographer: Taj Minter Naughton
Why do you think it is important for something like your shop? I think my shop is important because I’m trying to encourage recycling, especially in the fashion industry.Rotating what’s here, re using & refashioning instead of constantly buy new clothes made in a sweatshop & polluting the planet. I was raised wearing hand-me-downs & being creative-recycling & up cycling was a great way to express myself cheaply with a conscious.
What do you think is next for a shop like you’re in the industry? I would like to encourage the mainstream to wear pre owned clothing by rotating their clothing, reselling buying secondhand. I understand that not everyone has the money to spend on clothes for a party ,performance or special occasion so we hire out as well & there are a few more shops that do that sort of thing to. In my perfect world, there would shopping centres with only recycle & repair shops!!