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Spell Pops Up in L.A. on Abbot Kinney

by News Desk

Australian brand Spell is riding the wave of festival fashion into the summer with a three-month pop-up in L.A.

The contemporary brand founded in 2009 in Byron Bay by sisters Elizabeth Abegg and Isabella Pennefather is bringing its modern boho style to Abbot Kinney with island floral slipdresses and bikinis, yellow rose-print flouncy dresses and blouses, daisy patchwork denim shackets and skirts, Joshua-tree-print robes, watercolor knit ponchos, cowboy boots, fringed bags and more.

Spell pop-up in L.A.

Spell has a natural synergy with L.A., where Hollywood celebrities have helped build the business.

When Vanessa Hudgens wore the Desert Wanderer Playsuit to Coachella in 2014, the brand sold out of the style and gained 10,000 Instagram followers overnight. The playsuit has been re-cut in different patterns since, and worn by Margot Robbie, Blake Lively, Kate Hudson, Sienna Miller, Alessandra Ambrosio and more.

“We do about 30 percent of our sales in the U.S. which is all online, and predominantly in California,” said brand communication manager Audrey Jaggs during a tour of the store, explaining that the brand’s growth has been organic. “We had a few celebrity hits, and the customers found us that way and created this committed online community. They have their own Facebook groups they run themselves, and they chat and have meetups together. They do an annual trip, they’ve done one in Austin and one in L.A.”

Spell pop-up in L.A.

The pop-up opens with the brand’s Yellow Rose collection. “There’s a nod to the 1970s, desert, Western vibes,” said Pennefather, whose print and color inspirations have ranged from the film “Crocodile Dundee” to summering in Capri. (Prints are designed in-house.)

“Festival season has always been synonymous with the brand in Australia and the U.S. That’s a lot of where we get our celebrity hits,” Jaggs said, sharing that visits to the Spell website were up 17 percent from the week prior during Coachella weekend and 170 percent up from the same period in 2022. “People love it whether they are attending, or they are just being inspired.”

The brand is self-funded. “We had zero money, and got an $8,000 overdraft at the bank. That’s how we started it,” said Pennefather, who now employs 80 people. “It’s a dream come true. We’re literally doing what we love and what came naturally and that resonated with people.”

Spell is looking for a permanent space on Abbot Kinney, where it had its first pop-up in 2018. “We’re feeling like it’s time. But it’s about the right space and there’s literally no shops left to rent,” said Pennefather. “This is our home away from home, our Byron Bay in L.A..”

“We’ve noticed since COVID-19, people are back to wanting physical interactions,” said Jaggs. “They want the whole experience and we want to give them that.” The pop-up is open through July 23 at 1108 Abbot Kinney.

Spell pop-up in L.A.

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