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Flagship colours

24 January 2022
Kelly Coe from Augustine stands in a field

With a cult following across the country, it was only a matter of time before Augustine opened in the South Island. We caught up with owner and designer Kelly Coe to celebrate the Kiwi fashion brand’s biggest store yet.

“Nothing beats getting your girlfriends together over brunch then trying on clothes in a store,” says Augustine owner and designer Kelly Coe.

With Canterbury the second largest online market for ‘House of Augustine’ and its 10 labels, the Kiwi brand opened on Cashel Street in November after a successful fashion show in Christchurch. The exuberant response from locals matches Kelly’s take on fashion.

“Augustine stores are a colour explosion, as our clothes are designed to be exciting and vibrant. I’ve always banged on about how wearing bright colours can change your whole attitude – when people give you positive comments about what you’re wearing, it’s great for your mental health,” she says.

With 14,000 VIP members and 170,000 Facebook followers, stockists have been a big part of the success story. However, as their labels and ranges increased, it was time to invest in their own premises. With stores in Auckland, Tauranga and Wellington, “people kept asking when we were going to open up down here”.

“It’s quite funny that we ended up launching our biggest store ever in a pandemic! Although, we did start out 12 years ago in a global recession,” Kelly quips.

The flagship range is vast: active wear resides alongside denim jeans and accessories; party outfits, resort pieces and formalwear show off next to pyjamas and candles; youngsters and men are catered for too.

The large Cashel Street footprint enabled husband Nathan, who designs and oversees store fit-outs, to give each label its own space. There’s even an enclosed pod in which kids can play safely, as mums peruse. “We have three daughters so I know what it’s like to go shopping with little ones,” Kelly says.

Repeat visits will be rewarded with new reveals, the designer promises.

“We’ve stayed true to the ethos we started out with – while we may have grown in the amount of styles we offer, we still keep to small runs. That way, fans know that what they’re buying is unique.”

Augustine Flagship Store now open at 161 Cashel Street, Christchurch.

Augustine store layout
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