Meet Kendra, 24, Regional Manager and head honcho at our Wellington flagship store. She loves fashion and dancing but will still probably beat you at Tekken. Also, a word to the wise, she's pretty keen on sneakers too so make sure you pop into our Wellington flagship store for a chat.
Kendra wears our recently released Long Sleeve Mock Neck Tee in Charcoal paired with our Otto Duffle Bag also in Charcoal. We asked Kendra to take us for a stroll around our Wellington flagship store to share some of her favourite looks, and talk all good things Wellington.
ILU: Hey Kendra, so working on a daily basis out of our Wellington flagship store, what’s it like living and working in New Zealand’s capital city?
K: Living in Wellington is great. Wellington is this crazy juxtaposition of cultures and flavours. It’s a very open-minded city where people can say, do and wear what they want. I feel like it’s cool watching first years from out of town develop their own sense of style throughout the year. Like, at the beginning of each year there’s always this influx of fast fashion kids and then somehow that disappears throughout the year as everyone dresses how they probably wanted to in the first place. Wellington City is also really small which for the most part works to push all the different groups together. From one end of town to the other is maybe a 10 minute walk, but after living here for a few years it’s at least triple that as you’ll inevitably bang into a bunch of friends for a yarn along the way.
ILU: We’re well aware that you’re a fan of good food, and better coffee. What are you go-to Wellington spots?
Yeah! Another thing about Wellington is you’re never far from a great coffee. There’s a Mojo @mojocoffeenz in the Old Bank Arcade which is the same building as I Love Ugly. I go there every morning for a Flat White. Other than that I love Lamasons Brew Bar @lamasonbrewbar and Coffee Supreme at Customs @customsbrews. Speaking of Customs, they do this crazy Avo and Pickled Radish on Toast. It’s the classic millennial Avo on Toast but the pickled radish and lemon does something unreal.
ILU: We recently released the Titirangi Collection, take us through some of your favourite pieces…
Unsurprisingly to anyone who has visited the Wellington store lately, the Titirangi Collection is my absolute favourite collection. I’m in love with the pastel palette, inspired by the colours of the Titirangi Yacht Club. A highlight for me is seeing the staple Smart Pant released for the first time in three shades of denim - Kentucky Blue, Bleached and Charcoal. The Smart Pant is the quintessential pant you’ll want to wear for any occasion. Classic black for work or formal occasions paired with any of our shirts, or our new denim styles matches perfectly with a more casual top like one of our recently released Harley Hoods. My personal favourites are the Denim Smart Pants in Kentucky Blue and the Harley Hood in Mellow Yellow. I would pair these with one of our Rocco Jackets, a style best layered on top of a hood in the cold, or purely over one of our Easy Tee’s in the Summer. Both options would be perfect with a classic sneaker silhouette such as a low top or tennis style, but we might have to wait a little later in the month for that..
ILU: What is life outside of I Love Ugly like for you?
When I can’t be found in the vaults of the Old Bank, I’m probably either eating, drinking or at Starjam @starjamnz where I tutor a dance workshop. StarJam is a non-profit organisation that empowers young New Zealanders with disabilities to achieve their full potential through music and performance workshops. Starjam is really important to me as we provide our Jammers with the opportunity to look the world in the eye as equals and give them the belief that anything is possible. All young New Zealanders with or without a disability deserve the opportunity to be the best they can be, which I feel is something really in line with our ethos here at I Love Ugly.
ILU: Music is a massive part of I Love Ugly’s makeup with almost all our team having dabbled in music in some sense. How does music influence your day to day?
Music has always played a huge role in my life. Both my parents are music teachers so growing up I was always surrounded by music, whether it be my parents band or the random musicals they were working on at the time. I have vivid memories of watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show rehearsals when I was four. Either way, music has always been a current in my life as it has for almost everyone else at I Love Ugly. Currently I’m not banging the musicals as much, at the moment I’m still listening to a lot of old Kanye, Lupe, Kid Cudi and A Tribe Called Quest as well as Anderson .Paak and Santigold. I’ve actually just started listening to No Wyld @nowyld after reading Mo’s article on Spotify and am in love with the vibe of Grown Up.
ILU: Take us through what a typical day for you looks like?
Usually on a weekday I’ll head into work from my flat in Hataitai. If I don’t grab a coffee first thing then I’m useless so I head to Mojo and then into the store. I’ll spend the day catching up on emails and with you guys then checking up with our Newmarket Flagship store in Auckland. We have an amazingly loyal customer base down here so I’ll get a few visits from our regular customers throughout the day which is always great. For lunch I’ll meet up with a friend and the go-to is either sushi from this little spot in an arcade or pizza from Tommy Millions @tommymillions a Wellington institution. Most days after work involve either a quick visit to the gym or yoga, as they are both great ways to wind down and relax! Then, if it’s not an early night there’s always something happening in Wellington, whether it’s a friends gig or simply the classic kiwi BYO!