Ooh la la – The Hamptons – sounds awfully posh, doesn’t it?
Can’t you just see yourself swanning about in those expensive designer clothes, while you holiday in your third-generation mansion at the Hamptons and try to decide what champagne to serve at your next sophisticated soiree?
It was easy to pretend I was at the Hamptons yesterday. The sun shining on white sands, the clear blue sea, and look – in the distance, some cool young jet-setters hanging by the water – a sophisticated bar decked out in spring colours close by…. yep, it was all there.
But on closer inspection, I saw the cool young jet-setters were actually standing on boxes. Ah, that’s right, models! I was attending the Harris Scarfe spring/summer fashion and homewares launch at the chic Sandbar by the bay in Middle Park.
It was a fabulous lunch, attended by a colourful collection of Melbourne identities, including actors Melissa Bergland and Michala Banas, Zoe Badwi, Ann Peacock, Heath Meldrum with wife Brodie Harper, Nick Bracks, Tania Buckley and Amber Petty. Former Miss Universe Australia Jesinta Campbell even dropped in from Sydney to join in the fun.
The SandBar looked stunning – decked out in gelati-coloured lanterns and of course, Harris Scarfe’s new homewares collection – fresh vibrant colours giving us a taste of spring. The lunch was very Hamptons – French champagne and jugs of Pimms cocktails, while gourmet fish and chips, elegantly wrapped in a Harris Scarfe brochure, added a casual, beachy touch.
It’s the first public event since Harris Scarfe (now 160 years old) was sold in July by Momentum Corporate to Pepkor, a South African company who also owns Best & Less.
Marketing Manager Chris Kontos said Pepkor are committed to moving the brand forward. He describes the store as having something for everyone. ‘We’re every person’s retailer,’ he said ‘ We sell goods at both the high end of the market, plus great stock at low prices.’
Their new spring/summer range is certainly a testament to their word. It includes all the bright neon and gelati colours seen in just about every fashion store right now, mirrors trends and boasts very competitive prices.
I don’t know who’s getting it right at Harris Scarfe, but they’re bucking the downward retail trend. Last year they tallied up revenue of $325 million and are expected to open new stores next year.
Maybe it’s because of the Marketing Manager Chris Kontos. The man seems to have taken Melbourne by storm in recent months – his charm and looks making him a welcome addition on the guest-list of any function of note. Maybe his panache and winning ways have rubbed off on the budget brand, making it appeal to a broader market? Is that why Harris Scarfe now seems kinda cool?
And to top off a brilliant lunch, we were given a fabulous ‘Goodie Bag, full of homewares samples.
I loved the taste of summer with a lime-green handle ice-cream scoop, a Sheridan hand-towel (proof Harris Scarfe does sell ‘quality’ brands) a lime-patterned oven-mitt (yay – I needed one of those!) and even a heat-controlled hairbrush. BUT best of all…..
…wait for it….
…we were given….
YES! STEAK KNIVES !!!!!!!!!!!!!