Interview with Roxanne De La Fonteyne

Words by Rachael Moosh July 19, 2015

People typically travel to Cairns to get a piece of what would better be described as a ‘Tropical Wonderland’ and while the Far North may not boast big cityscapes, it definitely has a healthy Graffiti, Street Art and Skate scene. 


So naturally after our first Collaboration with Alleyway Paint & Skate; we found time a few months back to chat with Co Owner Roxanne De La Fonteyne.

Can you talk about the thought process behind launching a concept store, with your partner in crime Oliver James?

We saw an opportunity to create a really cool vibe in the alleyway that complements the legal graffiti wall and what Caffiend created. We talked about it for a while, and there was an empty shop just begging to be filled, so we jumped into it. We decided that we could take the risk seeing there was no shop focused on supporting the local skate and paint scene here in Cairns.

Since opening the number of skaters at the Esplanade park has tripled, and we’ve hosted a massive Street art festival. We’re really happy with the response from the Cairns skate and paint community!


Cairns Skate Park 


We’re stoked on the overall aesthetic of the store! Was it intentional to separate yourselves from a more conventional retail fit-out?

It happened really naturally, we like the bare concrete, bare wood look. The pallets came about because we had a small budget for fit out, they’re free so we thought, why not use them? Skaters and street artists both have a connection with the rawness of the concrete walls, roof and floor.

Alleyway Paint & Skate is smack bang in the heart of Cairns CBD, fit with legal wall and only minutes from one of Australia's biggest Skate parks. Do you think ‘location’ contributes to your trade?

Absolutely! It would be strange to have a skate shop that isn’t near a skate park!

The wall is particularly good for our trade, plenty of travelling artists come to see it, and come to us to paint it.

One particular instance recently I had was an artist from Brisbane who is pretty big in the street art scene just walked in and bought some paint and did an amazing piece on the legal wall. For these travelling artists, having a paint shop and legal wall to paint right next to is really exciting.

Cairns Skate Park 

John Kaye

Can you shine some light on your current brand line up ?

Our Skate range is broad, from entry level Z-Flex and Penny Boards which the backpackers love, to the high quality pro skate deck brands like Baker, Heroin, Deathwish, Skate Mental and Arbor. Longboards and cruisers’ are popular, with a range from Arbor, Loaded and Landyachtz.

We have a massive range of quality skate hardware like Venture Trucks and Thunder.

We stock mtn 94, sugar an ironlak paints for aerosol artist, to suit a range of styles and budgets. 

Our apparel is mainly skate focused at the moment, so alongside Moosh83 we have exclusive to Alleyway Paint and Skate: Baker, Primitive, Deathwish, Shake Junt and Lakai.


In terms of Graffiti, Street Art and Skate culture; what would you like to see more of?

We’d love to see bigger events in Cairns around Street Culture – for example we travelled to Toowoomba to check out First Coat street art festival, and pick up some ideas. With the Esplanade Skate Park being a national destination, we’d love to host some big skate events too. 

Cairns Winter is here; sort of… but seriously it’s the best time to be in Cairns, so where’s your favourite place to chill in the coming months ?

There are so many skate spots to hit in Cairns now the rain is over. Secret Skate Spots…

 For some chill time, there are some amazing rainforest swimming holes. 


You guys hosted a 3 dayYouth Alleyway Festival recently, what can you tell us about that? 

We were supported by Cairns Regional Council and GraffitiSTOP to celebrate Youth Week by repainting the legal wall in Graff Alley. We had an awesome Festival with over 20 artists from 5 cities including Phibs, Peque, Noke, John Kaye, Caroline Mudge and Moosh83’s own Silve. There was a huge turnout for the event which also included paint workshops, a skate comp, live bands and djs. It was unreal! 





DJ Fred Cuzon

Any closing words?

Yes! If you are thinking about getting on a skateboard or getting creative with a spray can, come in and talk to us!

If you want some awesome new threads that set you apart from the rest of Cairns, Alleyway should be your first stop.