Yet equally as gratifying as the business’ dedication to providing more than 100 countries (and counting) with fresh fashions was our foundation within the Adelaide, South Australia community. The creative and passionate team at the BNKR Aussie HQ was a pivotal foundation of the local microeconomy, creating a robust livelihood as the singular fashion agency in town, at our height employing upwards of 100 locals.
When the pandemic-prompted Voluntary Administration process befell, and BNKR’s fate and future were pending, there was one thing certain: the best course moving forward for the company involved a new ownership who understood the importance of supporting local infrastructure and staying true to the local roots from which the company hailed.
Enter: a group of South Australian private investors, who stepped in to purchase Australian Fashion Labels, the parent company of BNKR and its in-house brands.
Having rectified the immediate concerns of restructuring the business to allow the business to be back up and running, the team, led by newly appointed CEO Sean Ebert, is now shifting focus to what the future looks like for BNKR. Prior team members from the business have been rehired, as, according to investor Andrew Nunn,
“This team knows the business intimately and understands our loyal customer base and we are thrilled to be given an opportunity to help shape the future of Australian Fashion Labels with such a talented group.”
While more information on our new direction will be announced in due course, there are a few things that we do want to reassure our loyal customers that they can expect. We have outlined 5 commitments we are pledging to enhance the BNKR you’ve always known and loved, while also providing a path for greater expansion.
1. Same Great Taste for Elevated Aussie Designs
With work already underway to re-hire the creative teams including design talent, you can expect BNKR to continue to be a destination for elevated Australian fashion, truly offering solutions to any wardrobe dilemma you encounter.
2. Enhanced Emphasis on Customer Care
Those wardrobe dilemmas were always resolved with help from the online chat stylists and BNKR Customer Care team – and that team is not going anywhere. The new BNKR ownership is upholding a customer-first approach. As a measure of good faith towards this outcome, all valid BNKR customer store credit created in the last 12 months under the old ownership have been carried over onto our new site, and will be honored for the next six months.
3. Increased Dedication to the South Australian Community
Australian Fashion Labels has always been a leader in job creation for the state from which it hails. We remain committed to fostering local talent, including a plan for increased alignment with local TAFE fashion graduates, in order to continue the vision of providing a hub for Australian designers to reach global markets.
4. Greater Potential for Expanding Aussie Roots Globally
The South Australia culture has always been synonymous with the lifestyle, weather and mindset of the United States west coast – in particular, Los Angeles, where a US working presence for the company will remain. Together with the China satellite office, BNKR’s aspirations soar to new global heights as a diverse and passionate advisors, investors and employees work together to story-tell their Australian heritage across the globe.
5. Refocused Attention to Address Ethical Concerns
From internal diversity to external values and continued concerns of sustainable sourcing and manufacturing, ethical concerns grow more important than ever under our new ownership. Aware of the industry’s tendency to over-promise and under-deliver, we are careful to outline specifics until a firm plan of action has been implemented, but rest assured of its spot at the top of our list of priorities.
So, new and improved? We’d like to think so. Stay tuned for more exciting updates, every step of the way.