Resort wear brand The Wolf Gang open their first brick and mortar store on Rundle Street, bringing pops of colour to Adelaide’s boutique district.
The Wolf Gang howls into Rundle Street
Vanessa Pearce, founder and creative director of The Wolf Gang, has a long-running retail career and knows Rundle Street well, having opened its Sass and Bide store in 2009.
Now, 14 years on, she’s returned to Adelaide’s fashion district with her own label, as The Wolf Gang’s first brick-and-mortar store opened Friday with support from Renew Adelaide.
CityMag visited on their first trading morning and spoke to Vanessa about the milestone, getting questions in between curious Adelaideans popping in after the colourful range caught their eye from the street.
“I’m seeing familiar faces…even today, I had two old customers come in this morning after being open for 10 minutes and I’m finding that other people that worked on the street all those years ago are still around,” she says.
Vanessa looks back fondly on the Rundle Street of the mid-2000s and feels after the Covid quiet, the East End has become vibrant once again.
She credits this, in part, to the latest food and beverage offerings on Rundle Street and its neighbouring Ebenezer Place, which is situated behind the new store.
“It’s funny because I feel like Rundle Street has shifted, it was such a hub for fashion back then when Sass and Bide opened and so many other boutique stores opened around the same time or shortly after,” Vanessa says.
“It was great, it was fun, and the atmosphere was awesome.
“It’s been revitalised, it feels similar [now] to when I was here all those years ago.”
The Wolf Gang was established in Adelaide in 2016, with the brand debuting hero accessories such as the Bedouin Clutch – a suede pouch with colourful tassels repped by every cool girl at your high school formal between 2016-18.
“At the time of the launch of that particular bag and that first range, yes it was the right place, right time, but the right product as well,” Vanessa says.
The Wolf Gang’s products are distinctive and known for bold prints and bright colours, which is clear in the latest collection, Resort ’23, which launched as part of Adelaide Fashion Week.
Although their resort wear line, and the brand overall, shines in summer as the weather warms up, The Wolf Gang’s goal is to be more than just holiday fits.
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“Every season is very unique and different to the last, but there’s a Wolf Gang essence to each collection at the same time,” Vanessa says.
They release collections four times a year, with the range including knitwear as well as coats and denim on the cards for future collections.
“It is recognisably The Wolf Gang because of the cut, the silhouette, the colour and the print,” she says.
“You can easily pick it apart from other brands out there, we have our own vibe and that is key.”
For the hesitant, don’t let the wall-to-wall colour scare you. The Wolf Gang have pop colour bags or jewellery if you’d like to start small, and staff are happy to give styling advice for all their apparel whether it be pairing a fun top back with jeans, helping you craft the perfect all-pink outfit or helping people work out what colours suit them.
Until now, The Wolf Gang was predominantly an online retailer, with stockists online such as large retailers Anthropologie and The Iconic, as well as smaller boutiques in North America, New Zealand and Australia.
Though the brand has seen growth with online retail, they’re excited to offer a physical space for customers to see most of the range at once.
“Sometimes when you’re scrolling and you get to page four or something you go, ‘that’s enough’ and click out of it, but here you see every piece in the range,” Vanessa says.
The brand tries to talk to customers digitally as much as they can, but the physical store allows for face-to-face interaction which The Wolf Gang love.
“I love customer service, I love connecting with people, talking to people about what they like, what they don’t like,” Vanessa says.
“Finding out any feedback at all is so amazing that we can have that touchpoint with our customers and for them to be able to try things on and see the product in real life.”
To celebrate their opening, The Wolf Gang want you to join them at a launch party on Friday, December 15 from 5pm ’til 9pm complete with drinks, a DJ and a special discount on the night.
The Wolf Gang is located at 245a Rundle Street and is open seven days a week.