We follow the happenings of our current crop of "It" girls (you know them: Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and the like) like it's our business. Whether they are channeling their inner #girlbosses at a bargain or bringing back the ‘90s choker, we are obsessed with everything they do—especially when it comes to fashion—because pretty soon it's going to become a major phenomenon. Case in point: Australian brand Cotton On.
Though the billion dollar fast fashion retailer has been doing on-trend pieces at an affordable price point for 25 years (think cool knits and fashion-forward denim), the brand has gained an impressive following in recent months, thanks to Jenner and Hadid. The former stepped out in a high-neck gray knit top in December (shop similar styles here), while the latter wore a $25 gray midi dress (shop similar styles here) to a Chanel fitting in September—she styled it with mirrored sunglasses, a cross-body bag, and black ankle boots. Jamie Chung, who wore a sleeveless gray top (shop similar styles here) to a pre-Super Bowl 50 party, is also a fan of the brand, as are Alessandra Ambrosio and Bella Hadid.
“Cotton On has always been about easy-to-wear, trend-driven pieces that can be worn with nonchalance; these girls perfectly capture that,” says Lucy Nutter, Cotton On global trend director. "We aren't trying to be like some of our competitors, who are all about the catwalk. We want to be about that effortless Australian lifestyle."
But bringing that Aussie sensibility Stateside had been a somewhat slow process—until recently. Over the last three years, the brand has opened more than 100 stores (mostly on the West Coast), and 10 more are expected to open this year, with hundreds to follow in the next three to five years.
"We’re committed to growing in the United States," says Mark Pan, Cotton On U.S. country manager. "Right now, the West Coast is our focus, but the biggest opportunity for us is in the Northeast." Currently, there are only two Cotton On stores in the New York metro area, but as the brand expands, expect Cotton On to have a lot more real estate in our closet.