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NaraCamicie Flagship Store Opens In Paddington – Meet The Owners

December 5th, 2012

It’s finally here in Australia – and here to stay and spoil us rotten with quality, Italian style and design.

Naturally I’m talking about NaraCamicie, the Italian label which has taken most countries of the world by storm!

Right here in Paddington, Sydney, store owners Angela and Alex opened Australia’s flagship store. It’s an edgy and funky store with everything so easily to see and feel – it’s quite a sensory experience.

I caught up with Alex and Angela at the store to talk all things NaraCamicie and fashion.

How NaraCamicie start and why did you decide to launch the brand in Australia?

We came across the brand while honeymooning in Italy and specifically Venice in 2006. We were instantly captivated by the quality, styles and price range. We ended up purchasing many shirts and after arriving back to Australia we were continuously receiving positive feedback every time we wore a Nara shirt. It was obvious to us that there was a gap in the Australian market for European style shirts. After many visits to Italy we decided that it was time to take the big step to launch the brand to the Australian market in 2012. We carefully studied what other brands were offering and again it was very clear that Australians were in need of something different. This was what prompted us to launch.

 Where is NaraCamicie stocked overseas?

There are over 600 stores worldwide. All over Europe, Asia, North and South America as well as Africa. There are more stores opening monthly in every major city around the world.

Do you think it will have the same success here in Australia?

Our sydney flagship store has been open for 2.5 months now and the response has been fantastic. NaraCamicie has been a success all around the world and we truly believe Australia will be as well. Many Australians that have travelled abroad have come in the store or contacted us via email and phone, expressing their excitement that finally their favourite shirt brand has reached the Australian shores. It is only a matter of time that NaraCamicie becomes the authoritarian in the shirt industry in Australia.

There has been a positive reaction to the brand with stylists and celebrities visiting the store. Why do you think the brand is attracting these influential people? What is the ultimate goal for the brand?

They are attracted because simply Naracamicie offers something unique and the styles and cuts are very European. There are over 200 styles of shirts offered per season from casual, business, evening and formal. Nara has been for many years present in all major publications around the world, numerous fashion shows and has been established in the fashion world for 28 years.

Are you planning on opening more stores in Australia? When and where could we expect to see them?

We are planning on opening in every major city in Australia in the next 5 years. New Zealand is also of interest.

How do you think the fashion industry differs to that of Europe?

Australian fashions tends to be more conservative and simple. There is however a desire for different styles that are more colourful and edgy. Nara offers exactly that.

The store fit-out in Paddington is very modern and edgy. Do you find that this is reminiscent of the exceptional European style and design?

The Nara store concept is the forefront of designer shop fitting. Designed by a leading Italian architect, it is simple and elegant, modern and edgy and gives emphasis to the beautiful shirts displayed. The comments we have received from customers and other retailers is that they have never seen anything like it!

Reasonably priced fashion, excellent quality and Italian made – do you think these are the three things that shoppers in Sydney look for? What else do Sydney shoppers look for do you think?

We believe that Sydney shoppers are continuously searching for something that is priced correctly, is of outstanding proven quality and at the same time unique. We have had customers come back to tell us that the feedback they received when wearing one of our shirts was amazing. Whoever wears a Nara shirt is noticed simply because the patterns and fabrics of a Nara shirt is fresh to the Australian market.

What styles and colours will we expect to see in the new season?

Our current spring/summer collection focuses on bright colors and flora prints without stemming away from the traditional whites.

For our upcoming autumn/winter collection darker hues and simple black and whites are back in. Grandpa collars for men and satin prints and frill shirts for women will be evident.

Over 150 styles for both women and men will be available.

What is your personal style, when you are socialising or at events and not in the store?

Smart casual, chic and edgy. We do not only sell Nara shirts, we also love wearing them!

What is a MUST HAVE item for guys and girls this season from NaraCamicie?

Guys: definitely short sleeve grandpa collar shirt

Girls: 3/4 floral print shirt

For more information or to buy online, visit www.naracamicie.com.au

Store address: Shop 1, 412 Oxford Street, Paddington NSW.

For media inquiries, please contact Pink Pony PR - www.pinkponypr.com.au

The Gracious, Gorgeous and Giving Carly Crutchfield

October 11th, 2010

Carly Crutchfield is one remarkable person. At the age of 20, she had already done more then what many of us would do in our entire lives. She bought and sold companies, traveled the world and get her self on the track to being one very successful millionaire.

Because of her choices in life and her vaule for life itself, she decided it was time to give back. Recently starring on channel 9‘s The Secret Millionaire, Carly gave away a small fortune to people she didn’t even know, but needed al the help they could get. Watching Carly was truly inspirational and she proves that you can achieve what you want in life.

A beautiful, caring women, a natural on the small screen and an inspiration to many  this is Carly Crutchfield and all the things about her fabulous life…

Carly on Life

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

In terms of development we currently have $250 million in projects under way throughout Australia. We have a new charity initiative, www.secretgiftangels.com.au which we are very passionate about.

We are committed to increasing the level of property and financial education amongst Australians and we are about to launch a new free training program PROPERTY UNIVERSITY, which is very exciting.

Tell us more about your successful company, CCORP…

CCORP was borne out of the fact that I loved what I was doing, but hated doing it alone. I wanted to be a property developer but on a bigger level and with a group behind me.

Our company culture is very unique, its high energy, fast paced and we believe nothing is impossible. We work very hard and we play pretty hard to.

We are Australia’s largest property development education company and one of the fastest growing development groups in Australia.

CCORP also has a property investment division and finance division. We spend a lot of time ensuring our clients are educated. A lot of people are making investment decisions without truly understanding what they are deciding upon. I have seen a lot of self inflicted poverty in Australia – people getting themselves into massive debt and financial pressure because they do not understand money, investments and property. This is something people need to be educated on. The more our clients know, the easier it is to help them achieve their financial goals.

You were recently on The Secret Millionaire, tell us more about this experience and how this experience affected you and your life…

It was such a priviledge to be involved and I loved it! It was a completely unique experience. Although I have done a lot of charity and volunteer work before, this was so different. I was taken out of my comfort zone, as my phone, money, computer etc were confiscated and for that time it was solely about confronting an area, its problems, families, groups and thinking about how I could help.

I was inspired by the resilience and positivity of the people I met. Since the show I have been overwhelmed by the feedback. I have received thousands of emails, letters and messages. I have also received many requests for help, money and jobs. This has made it even more real to me that there are a lot of people out there who need help. It has motivated me to take my life, business and foundation to a whole new level and start making headway in solving some issues in Australia and the world at large.

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

It’s hard work. You need to believe in yourself, have persistence and thick skin. You need to be willing to handle risk and experience the highs and the lows. But if you can, it is incredibly rewarding, exciting and fruitful.

If you want to give property development a try, you need to educate yourself. The more you know, the easier it is and the more money you make. The less you know, the more money you are likely to loose. To start learning about property development, come to one of my workshops or order my free DVD. Visit www.ccorp.com.au or call 02 9371 4799.

Is there a charity/cause that is close to you and if so, why?

In terms of a charity organization I would have to say my own foundation, CFOUNDATION. In terms of a cause, there are so many situations in the world that need attention and help. One area I am very passionate about is Human Rights, or the lack of human rights that exists.

How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?

I might spend a week working 20 hour days and then I’ll take a week off and either travel or relax at home and just do an hour or two of work a day. I schedule in holidays and book flights so nothing else can sneak into the schedule.

My Mother/Father always told me…

Work hard and believe in yourself.

Greatest lesson learnt?

Don’t regret anything. It’s a waste of time and a waste of a learning experience. You can create anything you want to tomorrow as long as you’re not looking back on how you should have done things yesterday.

What is one quality you have, that you hope your children will get and carry through life?

Persistence. I don’t take no for answer, I think impossible is nothing and I don’t give up. You can get through anything and create phenomenal results with that mindset.

Carly on Fashion

What is a fashion trend you hope will never resurface?

Nothing really, bring it all back! It’s hilarious to watch life regurgitated with a new point of view. Who would have thought we would be wearing shoulder pads again!

Your thoughts on Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?

I think there is a more relaxed and whimsical vibe to Australian fashion, which suits our lifestyle. International fashion tends to be heavier and harder edged.

Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to raid and why?

Victoria Beckham would have an incredible wardrobe, but again very hard edged – I’d say her bag collection would be phenomenal (although mostly Hermes). Fergie would have a great cross selection and more rocky edge and I hear her shoe closet is amazing.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

At the moment I am obsessed with Chanel earrings, I have about 35 pairs. Clothing wise, a dress I bought from Mackenzie Mode, which is perfectly tailored for my body.

Carly on her Home

What is your one design rule you like to stick to around the home?

Keep it unique, create interesting spaces and focal points. Mix items, textures and colors – don’t try and match everything. I’m not a fan of catalogue houses that look like everything was bought in the one store straight off the floor display. A home should show personality, stories and memories.

Do you have one feature in your home you love most?

I have a wall full of sepia photos all in white frames. There are about 60 frames in varying sizes containing pictures of my friends, family and favourite memories. I created the wall about 2 years ago and it’s got a great energy while also being architecturally beautiful.

Who or what influences you most in home décor?

The beach would be my biggest influence in my home and second to that art. I tend to pick a painting for a room and decorate around that. The art has center stage in my home, and so it should. Art’s a powerful thing.

Carly on Food and Drinks

Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

I am obsessed with soda water and I love a good glass of French champagne. My wine of the moment is pretty much any Italian Pinot Grigio.

Food, all of it – my personal trainer knows I like food! I had a Wagyu steak in Melbourne recently which was incredible.

How often do you eat out and cook at home?

I travel a lot, which means eating out a lot. If I am home, I eat in about half the time and out half the time.

Though at the moment I am on a full on detox. So I get all my meals prepared for the day.

Signature dish?

I rival anyone to out cook me Mexican-fiesta style! My roast isn’t too bad either.

Carly on Lifestyle

Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?

At my home, or the beach.

What car do you drive, best thing about the car and why you bought it?

I have a few cars, but I usually only ever drive my Range Rover Sport. I bought it because it’s big and I can get lots in it! It’s also a really smooth drive. I also have a Prius but interestingly enough the Range Rover is more carbon efficient.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Art. I take a lot of pride in my collection and look forward to growing it. I think art is a powerful thing. It can completely change the vibe of a room. The art in my home is very relaxed. The art in my office is very contemporary and pop. You walk into our offices and feel an intense energy – a lot of that is from the people, but they bounce off and are inspired by the art.

Where would be your ultimate holiday destination?

I am dying to go to Africa and do a full Safari. I am heading to Venice with my boyfriend for New Years which I am really excited about.

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

My phone and laptop. I get nervous thinking about it.

What frustrates you most about Sydney?

It’s all good. The frustrating things give Sydney siders something to talk about.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

Bronte for breakfast, Camp Cove for family vibe, Coogee rockpool for my dogs, and a secret eastern suburbs hideaway I cant tell you about is my favourite for a day of sunbathing, swimming and reading.

If you could be a fly on the wall of any celebrity home, who’s wall would you like to sit on?

Bono. The way he has “used his power for good” is pretty incredible.

Three pet hates?

1. Being limited to “5 or less” items when going into fitting rooms in stores. I only want to make one trip to the fitting room.

2. The loop strings sewn into the shoulders of women’s dresses, clothes etc. So annoying.

3. People smoking at the exits of buildings so when you walk outside of the building you walk straight into 30 cigarettes being smoked.

Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria Grand Opening Launch Party – QVB

October 7th, 2010

Demelza Reverly and Rebecca Jobson

Stefano and George Michael

Stefano and George Michael (Owner)

A brilliant crowd of 200 turned up to celebrate the grand opening of Bacco QVB on Tuesday night and enjoyed themselves eating all house made Italian delights from the Bacco kitchen, there was a Charcutterie and fresh pasta tables and Bacco’s house made pastries and cakes where plentiful. It would have been impossible to count the trays of delightful food coming out to the guests – there was just so much food and drink, it was like it never stopped!

Adrian Erdedi and Bianca Venuti

Adrian Erdedi and Bianca Venuti

Guests drank cocktails sponsored by Campari and St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, wine and beer by Peroni.

The night was a celebration of all things Italian with the Songsmiths performing live, Italian Vespas on show in green/red and white plus all the very gorgeous authentic Italian barstaff all dressed by Voi Fashion (Roberto Cavalli). Everyone invited was asked to wear a splash of red, which naturally I did. But who was voted best dressed? Yes – yours truly! My stunning partner Bianca Venuti was subtly capped off with a pretty red rose.

With all the food, drinks, entertainment and great company, it was hard to make everyone leave and the party kicked on till 10pm to celebrate the opening of Bacco’s sister venue, 2nd floor of the QVB building where they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week, also serving Italian styled high tea as something a little extra to Bacco’s Chifley Tower venue.

Check out the review on Bacco HERE

Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria, QVB

BACCO WINE BAR Pasticceria – Now Open In The Beautiful QVB!

October 7th, 2010

Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria, known for their delectable home made cakes, pastas, canapé’s and Italian Apertivi cocktails just opened its doors to its second CBD venue located on the second floor of the spectacular Queen Victoria Building. Open 7 days, there’s nothing better then stepping into authentic Italian glamour, enjoying breakfast, lunch or a dinner of house made Italian fare. Maybe you just feel like a glass of wine at the beautiful bar or simply relax and enjoy an Italian Style high tea.

Owner, George Michael, was inspired to create Bacco throughout a trip to Italy. Simplistic yet stylish; Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria, QVB is on the second floor of the glorious QVB building. Like its sister venue in the Chifley Plaza, Bacco QVB features marble floors and benchtops, polished timber features and the iconic imported Italian grape lights and surrounding triple windows.

Everything is house made, including the pastas, risottos, sauces, cakes and chocolate, not to mention the ingredients used in the upmarket cocktails. The bar menu includes spicy home-made Italian meatballs, cured kingfish with orange spring herbs and pan toasted brioche and a mint sautéed king prawns with crispy vegetables and vanilla scented olive oil.

For dessert, Bacco’s extraordinary pastry Chef, Brendan Dewar produces every cake and pastry on site plus Bacco’s own hot chocolate recipe, made from pure Belgium Calvatore Chocolate. Bacco’s high tea features Italian sandwiches, sweet and savoury petite gateaux served with a fine selection of tea’s or choice or Campari high tea with a Campari cocktail.

Bacco’s creative Italian menu is complimented by a carefully chosen wine list featuring old and new world classic wines well matched to the simple Italian fare at Bacco.

The cocktail list, conceptualized by Bacco’s Italian bar team ranges from a traditional Bellini to the house speciality, Giorgio Il Bello, a true aperitif from Venice, made with Aperol, elderflower and pinot grigio spritzed with homemade lemonade, served in a glass rimmed with handcrafted orange rhubarb dust. Exclusive cocktail making courses are also on offer to learn the secret to making premium Italian cocktails.

Whether it is a Panini at lunch with a colleague, high tea with your mother-in-law or an evening glass of wine at the bar with a shared plate of Italian delicacies, Bacco is an authentic yet modernistic Italian culinary experience, one experience I will remember.

Level 2, QVB Building, 455 George Street, Sydney – Phone: (02) 9223 9552 – www.bacco.com.au

Hours: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, 7 days a week from 8am.

Pros: Perfectly Italian. The food is so fresh, the word fresh can’t even describe it’s freshness. Deliciously authentic. Enthusiastic staff. Well priced. The Ricotta Ravioli is to die for.

Cons: My obesity – I’d eat there every day if I could and finish off every meal with a massive and amazing dessert!

Pricing: Breakfast for $4.50 to $16, Lunch & Dinner $14 – $32, Desserts- $15, Cocktails $15, high tea from $33 – $47.

Final say: I love this place. I’d quite easily become a regular of Bacco!

Check out all the fabulousness that went on at the launch party right HERE!

Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria, QVB