By: Ulrika Drevniok

Upon arriving in Australia, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t recognize any of the fashion retail brands here. I was completely expecting to find a mall with a Gap, J. Crew, Forever 21, and Banana Republic. (I know Joe Fresh does have a bit of an international presence, but I wasn’t really expecting to find it here.) Instead, I found stores like Cotton On, JAG, Sportsgirl, Portmans, and Supre. What? Yeah, I’d never heard of them either. Downtown Melbourne does have an H&M, but for the most part, there were totally new-to-me, totally Aussie brands to explore.  So, I present to you, the Aussie-Canadian fashion decoder:

The first store I’ll present is Supre which is the equivalent of Forever 21

Supre boasts new clothes in store every week, making it a destination for fast fashion and lots of deals. Good for a quick wardrobe update, but not where you’d want to buy a classic piece.

The next store is Country Road which is really similar to Roots in Canada.

Country Road is a totally classic Aussie brand. Roots is a totally classic Canadian brand. I don’t think Country Road quite has the cachet factor of being named as official clothier to a Canadian Olympic Team (make that Australian Olympic Team), but it is a little more fashion-forward than Roots. Okay, I might have to fudge this equation a bit and say that Country Road = Roots + J. Crew. (Also, the CR website has a really awesome feature where you can see the model moving in the clothes.)

Have a look at their sites and let me know what you think! Send a note to

Also stay on the look out for part two of the post, were I’ll feature a few more Aussie/Canada comparisons.