ROUTE 66 is the original mother road that crosses North America, connecting the East to the West. It threads through beautiful grasslands, savage landscapes, leading to sunshine and - for those daring enough - fame and fortune.
After six months on the road in America’s heartland, the South West & Tex-Mex border, Tina Lowe & Ross Waddington were compelled by the overwhelming inspiration of their journey to begin collecting treasures of Americana for their own store to open in Melbourne. This became the Route 66 we know and love today.
1983 was the birth year of Route 66. It was an introduction and an education for Australians to buy classic vintage American clothing, changing the public's view on used clothing - from the Salvo’s & St Vincent De Paul - to an appreciation of buying cleaned, pressed, perfect quality classics. This paved the way for an encouraged lifestyle of anti-fashion, creating a community of like-minded characters. Also, Ross’s passion for American roots music, from pre-war blues to 60’s garage, drew in even more people, helping to make this iconic store be much more than just another clothing outlet.
In the summer of 1988 - following the overwhelming success of the Melbourne Route 66 store - the decision was made to branch out and open a store in Sydney, providing even more people with an outlet where they could find true classics. Locals could now buy their vintage boots, quality denim, pomades and unique clothing on the iconic Crown St strip.
A demand for bespoke & rare clothing from their growing customer base encouraged the Route 66 team to create their own line of classic clothing, drawing from vintage style & designs. Their ethos: stay true to timeless garments from a bygone era and make every Route 66 piece a classic item that transcends age, status & gender.
In October 2011, a great sense of loss was felt by the community with the passing away of Ross. These unfortunate circumstances forced the eventual closures of the Melbourne stores & warehouse. However, Ross's amazing spirit will always remain through the countless people he has inspired and influenced. In Sydney, Route 66 has taken the reigns - continuing to provide the public with high quality, unique and bespoke items - and are still kicking ass in Darlinghurst.
When you're in the neighbourhood, drop into the Crown St store for a Coke and a poke around! There’s always more surprises in-store than what’s on a website...
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Getcha’ kicks on Route 66!