Unless you steered away from newspapers, radio and television yesterday, you’ll have heard the BIG news in Australian fashion; supermarket chain Coles has launched a clothing collection, MIX, which is dropping in to selected stores from 6 October. Fresh, affordable fashion; Coles MIX pieces all retail for under $40 and the launch range includes nautical summer pieces, elegant basics, swimwear, and complimentary accessories. The perfect grocery store pick-me-up, which is set to seriously change the way we shop for everyday fashion…
We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the first Coles MIX collection on Thursday 25 August, as the brand was launched at an exclusive media lunch in the yet-to-be-opened Coles concept store in Burwood, Victoria. Maz and I jetted down to Melbourne for the day to manage all media relations at the event – and here’s where our PR skills really came in to play; to an outsider we were the picture of calm, juggling a fashion shoot with the Herald Sun while overseeing filming in the aisles by the A Current Affair crew, who had already shot product on our gorgeous Publicist Natasha in the Sweaty Betty PR showroom that morning. While Amy was dressing models for ACA and persuading the fabulous (but shy) stylist to speak on camera, Maz was directing her own MIX shoot for The Australian snapper, who arrived just minutes before the lunch kicked off. Then it was a quick stop to enjoy the lunch and catch up with our favourite Melbourne media gals, including the ever-stylish Alyx Gorman of The Vine and the Herald Sun’s gorgeous fashionista Anna Byrne, before wrapping up with final snaps of the Coles MIX collection and a super quick journey back to the airport.
But we can’t resist opening the lid on the REAL story from the day –
Don’t get us wrong – things started off very smoothly, arrival at the airport via chauffeured car, coffee overlooking the runway, magazines to keep us occupied were purchased and the plane was boarded without fuss. Pickup at the other end again via chauffeured car…. and this is when the day curved slightly to the right at first (manageable) and then well U-TURNED entirely!
On arrival at the event ‘location’ – we noticed something a LITTLE strange. 45 minutes drive past Melbourne city and The Coles we had been delivered to was in full swing. Customers, overflowing trolleys, very busy checkouts. Hmm was our lunch not to be held in an empty, yet to be opened version of this?
One look at each other, said it all – time to get moving! In the highest of heels, our chauffer driven car long gone, we began the 10 minute ‘run’ to the beautiful, brand new and shiny Coles which a bystander had instructed was around the corner. Don’t tell the boss. Meanwhile – Melbourne is cold this time of year? Not so much – boiling sun, leather pants, suede heeled boots, trench coats, blazers, scarves and EXERCISE – we were sweating!
On arrival we had 15 minutes to get ourselves acquainted with the brand new MIX concept area before the media frenzy HIT and when we say HIT – WOW! There were TV crews who needed spokes-people to film STAT, models who needed to be styled, Journalists who needed the yet-to-be styled models to interview and multiple photo shoots going on in a store that spanned what felt like we were covering and 100km square space – from the cereal aisle to cosmetics and back to MIX – more running/sprinting in heels. At one point we were writing down credits for clothing used in two separate shoots (someone had pinched both our pens, fantastic!) trying to locate a trolley for another shoot (lucky we had already visited the still in operation Coles that had many a trolley and we could facilitate with EASE) and finding a box of some sort for a photographer to stand on so he could get a little extra height over the MIX area (who knew supermarkets sold TOOL Boxes these days too! Perfect). Not to mention whilst one of us greeted guests for the lunch that, to be honest, we had near forgotten was even happening, the other was trying to smuggle models stashed in the back room around through the loading dock to be shot by ANOTHER photographer without being seen pre-parade.
The CLINCHER, so we may have stayed a little too long at the MIX launch – who knew your could arrive to an airport at 4.22pm and STILL make it on your 4.30pm flight. NOT us. As 4.20pm rolled around and we were still on a freeway the sheer look of panic on our faces must have been priceless and as we ran through security pushing in front of fellow travellers yelling ‘can we go first’ – there was no sign of the cool, calm, collected PR girls who had handled a media frenzy for which 6 arms and legs each would have been useful. Still trying to re-accessorise and get our shoes back on our feet, the flight board flashing that our flight had closed, we were THOSE ‘idiots’ running through the airport that had clearly not allowed the correct amount of time. Cringe.
Somehow we got ourselves onto that plane – I credit our great negotiating skills – and our fellow passengers found it hilarious when we let out a massive cheer as the wine trolley came to a stop next to our chair – we needed it! Landed back in the office just in time to see a FAB piece on ACA for MIX – PHEW!
xx Amy and Maz