Australian Fashion Is Trending Coast to Coast
New boutiques selling only Down Under labels have popped up in L.A. and NYC.
Last weekend may have been Small Business Saturday, celebrating locally made and homegrown American brands. But sometimes there’s a really good reason to show love for foreign labels. Case in point: the new 1,000-square-foot AUST boutique on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, and NoLita’s recently opened Convicts store.
Both shops sell only Oz-based brands — the latter is even backed by the Australian Consulate — which means they’re stocked with super-covetable pieces by some of the top and emerging Aussie designers: Ksubi, One Teaspoon, Zanerobe, Blundstone and Volley (Convicts) and Zimmermann, Bec & Bridge, Alice McCall, Rhythm, Valley Eyewear and Sarah & Sebastian (AUST).
It’s not un-American to love Cate Blanchett, the Hemsworth brothers, Sia and Rose Byrne, so it shouldn’t be considered un-American to wear the admittedly cool clothes from their homeland. According to 26-year-old AUST founder Hannah Wang, she opened her “Aussies only" boutique because when she first moved to L.A., four years ago, she "struggled to find the aesthetic and quality of the brands back home."
Wang added, "I realized I wanted to help grow the industry internationally and L.A. is a great place to do this. It shares a similar vibe and lifestyle to that of Sydney, where you get an amazing cross-section of cultures." L.A. also is home to the minimalist Aussie brand Bassike’s very first U.S. shop, which opened next door to The Golden State Store on Lincoln Boulevard in Venice in late September. There, neutral, high-quality basics by the label are sold alongside non-Aussie accessories.
At the same time, Brisbane-based Sabo Skirt has taken over social media with its international online business selling sexy beach-inspired separates. It’s one of the reasons fashion from the alluring country has become so popular. In fact, Convicts is not just a boutique — it was devised as an Australian influencer-based digital media platform that would continue to spread Down Under culture in the states.
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Alongside the chic clothes in the Mulberry Street store, there’s live-streaming music from a Bondi radio station and, on the website, original daily content comprising video, photography and interviews with Aussies living and working in NYC (like models Jessica Hart and Catherine McNeil). It might just inspire a trip to the source.