Adelaide Abroad: Kate Wasley

It’s no easy feat establishing Adelaide’s iconic BNKR store to Downtown Los Angeles. That’s unless your Adelaide girl and BNKR operations Manager Kate Wasley, who has helped make BNKR DTLA the fashion destination in the city of angels.

Mid last year BNKR opened it’s LA Flagship store. Do LA locals love BNKR as much as we do here in Adelaide? What has the response been like?

We’ve had a great response from our customers in LA! The LA girls love BNKR’s aesthetic and we have been able to build a great customer base here.  Our customers are pleasantly surprised by our designs, quality of fabrics and price points.

Why did Australian Fashion Labels decide to open a Flagship store in LA?

We first trialled the idea by having two pop up stores in LA. It was incredibly successful, so from there we decided it was the perfect time to open our bricks and mortar store. We also have an office in Downtown LA, right around the corner from our flagship store, so our marketing, PR and sales teams work really closely with the retail team.

How is the LA store different to the Adelaide store?

They’re actually very similar! We wanted our DTLA and Rundle Mall stores both to share our famous BNKR aesthetic! We’ve been able to successfully carry across our distinct in-store feel.

What are LA customers loving at BNKR this season?

LA is experiencing a cold winter this year (for once!) so customers have loved knitwear from The Fifth and coats by C/MEO Collective. Warm but wearable pieces that allow them to stand out and play with layering. The LA girl is also very sociable due to their lifestyle, so we find they love the flirtier, mini and playful shapes in the Keepsake and C/MEO Collective January ranges.

LA is known as being the home to A-list celebrities, and with so many celebs frequently donning Aus Fashion Labels, do you have many celebs come into the BNKR store? Any notable stories?

Our LA PR team works with some incredible names and we have seen our brands on the likes of the Jenner’s, Kardashian’s, Jennifer Lopez, Gigi & Bella Hadid and Solange Knowles (just to name a few!) it is always so exciting to see how these global celebrities rock the styles.

As the BNKR Operations Manager, what has been the most exciting part about expanding to LA?

Seeing how well our BNKR brands have been received on the other side of the world! I’m so proud to say that BNKR originates from Adelaide, South Australia and that all of our 5 labels are designed in Adelaide.

What have been some of the challenges to opening a BNKR Flagship store in LA?

Negotiating the time and season differences can be tricky! Our designers do an amazing job at considering seasonality and there are countless Skype calls from Australia to LA every day to ensure we are always on top of it!

Who is a tougher customer to sell to; the savvy Adelaide shopper or nifty LA shopper?

We’re fortunate that our label’s designs translate well in both hemispheres. Each brand essence is so different and really fills the gaps in any girls’ wardrobe! Our LA customer really loves our styling and they aren’t afraid to try something new – this is what fashion is all about and we love it!

@fshnbnkr | @bnkrdtla




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