Home Featured Silk Laundry Opens First U.S. Store in L.A. With Slipdresses Galore

Silk Laundry Opens First U.S. Store in L.A. With Slipdresses Galore

Silk Laundry Opens First U.S. Store in L.A. With Slipdresses Galore

Silk Laundry cofounder Katie Kolodinski feels like retail is a serendipitous experience. Sometimes it just happens when you least expect it.

That was how her first North American store in Montreal developed, shortly after she had opened two stores in Australia.

In Montreal, Kolodinski and her husband/business partner, Reece Rackley, were having dinner when they left the restaurant and passed an empty storefront with all the makings of a great retail spot. A “For Rent” sign had just gone up. They checked back, and before you knew it, they were opening their first outpost in Canada.

It was a similar experience in Los Angeles when someone from the Silk Laundry team was strolling down Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood and saw a vacant retail space about the time the brand was considering a permanent U.S. location.

“Rents at the time were lower in Los Angeles than New York,” said Kolodinski, the brand’s creative director. Her husband is the chief executive. “The space was surrounded by good doors [Vivienne Westwood, Gucci and Staud] on a good walking street, which seemed to have a nice kind of local customer.”

Kolodinski and her team kicked the tires and eventually signed a five-year lease for the new store that just opened at 8412 Melrose Avenue. It is the company’s sixth, adding to four stores in Australia and the one outpost in Canada.

A colorful collection of Silk Laundry clothes at the new store. Photo courtesy of Silk Laundry.

It made sense to have a L.A. location because the affordable luxury brand’s largest customer base is in Southern California, followed by Texas and New York. Shoppers in Southern California appreciate Silk Laundry’s lightweight silk slipdresses, boyfriend shirts and slouchy pants sets, relaxed blazers and camis, with prices ranging from $155 to $650.

“Silk Laundry is quite ideal for L.A.’s weather. One of the reasons I started the brand was because I was really hot in Australia. Silk is light and breezy to wear,” said the creative director, who grew up in Canada and Australia. “Los Angeles should see sales be more consistent across the year. In our store in Montreal, we have larger peaks and troughs.”

Each Silk Laundry store is very different. For L.A., the interior design, done by the Gauley Brothers Design Studio in Montreal, is at a minimum. “It’s a little more modern than some of our other stores,” the Silk Laundry founder admitted. “I’m not one who loves waste so instead of covering up a beautiful floor, we sanded the wood floor there, which is a beautiful feature now.”

Silk Laundry taps into a wide customer base, ranging in age from 20s to 80s. “I have tried to create a brand that didn’t necessarily put a time stamp on clothing,” Kolodinski said. “We have a significant amount of customers who are in their 70s and consistently buy Silk Laundry. I think it is for the fabrication and the ease of wear and fit. So, it is incredible we have been able to connect to so many different age demographics.”

The label is also reaching across the gender aisle. Recently, Jake Gyllenhaal hosted a “Saturday Night Live” episode wearing a Silk Laundry oversize boyfriend twill white shirt with front pockets.

Sebastian Stan was seen recently sporting a full Silk Laundry look entering and exiting the Cannes airport while attending the annual film festival recently in southern France. The two actors share the same stylist, Michael Fisher.

The collection includes knitwear from Manos Del Uruguay that accents the bias cut slipdresses and skirts for looks that resonate with the 1990s minimalism trend in fashion.

Kolodinski has been passionate about forging artist collaborations and bringing ecological awareness into her work, adopting compostable packaging, as an example.

Next, she is working on bringing a pollinator garden to her hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, where she hopes to open her next store, an archive concept to give back to the community.