Aussie woman in tears over Kookai staff member's 'shockingly rude' remark

A woman who was left on the verge of tears after an "awful" experience at a popular fashion retailer has shared the "shockingly rude" response she received when she asked for a larger size in-store.

Australian mum Yassie had been shopping at the women's fashion chain Kookai when she found a pair of high-waisted trousers she liked in a size 12, her usual dress size.   

When she tried on the trousers and realised she needed the next size up, Yassie approached the shop assistant and asked if they were available in a 14. The employee's response, however, shocked her.   

"I said, 'Hi, sorry, do you have these in a bigger size? It doesn't fit'. She took it off me, checked the tag and said, 'No, sorry we don't'. I said, 'Can you tell me if another store has the right size?' And she said, 'No, we don't stock plus-size items'," Yassie recalled in a now-viral TikTok documenting her experience. 

"I don't consider myself to be plus-size... I wanted to cry."

Yassie - who gave birth nine months ago - said she was so taken aback by the assistant's remark that she fled the store "as fast as humanly possible" with tears in her eyes.   

Speaking to 7Life, Yassie branded the customer service as "shockingly rude" and said she had been "blatantly ignored" by the assistants up until the "terrible" exchange. 

"The comment made me feel awful. I felt like I was being treated as less than human just because I'm not a supermodel," she added. 

In both New Zealand and Australia, the average woman wears a size 14 to 16 - but in both countries, Kookai currently only stocks sizes 6 to 14.

Venting her frustration in the video, Yassie admitted she had considered going home after the exchange but ultimately decided to persevere - and soon found a perfectly fitted pair of denim jeans, in a size 10, at another store.

"If you ever wake up having a good day and feeling good about yourself and you want to be humbled really quickly and knocked back down to size, just go try some shit on at Kookai," she started the clip, which has since amassed almost 920,000 views.

It didn't take long for other women to weigh in with their own stories of being shamed for their dress-size while shopping, with many also taking aim at Kookai for similar treatment by staff.

"The same happened to me! Fully ignored because I'm a size 12 and don't fit their 'ideal' - left my $450 purchase at the till," one viewer commented, with a second adding: "My friend went to Kookai once and was told upon arrival, 'Sorry, we don't carry sizes that'd fit you'."

"I'm a 10-12 and can't even fit comfortably in their largest size. I don't even bother going into the store anymore," a third shared, while a fourth wrote: "Raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimised by a Kookai staff member."

In a follow-up video, Yassie said Kookai had reached out to her for more information after her first clip went viral, but she has decided against taking any further action.  

"I don't see the point, I guess. I don't think they're going to change their sizing by having a chat with me," she said.

"I am shocked at... how many people, who are average-sized women, can't find clothes that fit. The term itself, 'plus-size', implies that it's larger than something - and I'm guessing that 'something' is meant to be the average size, which is a size 14 in Australia," she went on.

"If you're going one smaller, one larger, then the average size [range] is 12 to 16, and plus-size should be starting at 18 - so all stores should be stocking, at least, up to 18."

In a statement to 7Life, a spokesperson for Kookai Australia reiterated that they had contacted Yassie directly and would look into the matter further once more information had been provided.

"We currently stock a size range 6-14, and are always open to feedback about our collection and service within our boutiques, so we can ensure we're providing a customer experience in line with our standards and values."