Fortunate enough to have been selected as one of the Top 50 Social Media Influencers by NATIONAL Public Relations, It’s All Style To Me was invited to compete in last weekend’s Vaughan Mills New Media Challenge. Saturday’s mission sounded simple enough. Hop on the new Vaughan Mills Shopping Shuttle, which runs express from Toronto’s Union Station directly to the Vaughan Mills Shopping Mall, and receive a $100 Vaughan Mills Gift Card to use towards the ultimate purchase(s). The only problem was that we had an hour to find, try on, and pay for our find(s). If you’ve never been to Vaughan Mills, you know the place is pretty massive (see the YouTube video below).
Around 30km north of downtown Toronto, the Canadian owned and operated shopping destination boasts the thrill of the hunt, offering luxury shopping for less, drawing savvy shoppers from in and outside of the burbs to explore their carefully curated mix of factory outlets and concept stores. Some of my personal favourites include Holt Renfrew Last Call, Hugo Boss, Winners, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and Browns. If you’re more of an athlete or adventurer, Vaughan Mills also has the world’s largest Pro Hockey Life sports equipment shop and the enormous outdoorsman’s Bass Pro Shop.
With respect to the challenge, judges Afiya Francisco and Janette Ewen, were interested in selecting the most compelling find. The criteria? Value, Presentation, Creativity and Passion. The award? Each challenger or his/her teammate could win a $500 Vaughan Mills Gift Card and more importantly bragging rights for the rest of the year. My teammate and I decided it best to split up figuring that the most compelling find wasn’t a single item at all, but an entire ensemble for a man or woman, that we could put together for $100.
A straightforward layout and more than adequate signage made the mall very easy to navigate. Even though I’m a guy and an XL-XXL, I found some great deals in my size at the Winners, Levis, Armani, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic and Hugo Boss. If there was to be a single hurdle in this competition, it had to be the slow pace of the cashiers. The checkout at Levis and Winners alone killed a good 25 minutes of my one-hour allocation, leaving me with a surplus of cash on my gift card. Ultimately, I managed to pull together one spring/summer outfit and a half consisting of: a Levis blue/black/white flannel check dress shirt ($10.00), a pair of H&M white linen drawstring trousers ($24.95), and a white Perry Ellis double-pocket dress shirt ($29.99) (see photo below). Given some extra time or caffeinated cashiers, I’m sure I could have picked up a pair of shorts or jeans for under $23.00 and managed not one but two decent outfits for under $100.00.
My teammate Ivana managed to pull together a complete head to toe woman’s outfit for under $100.00. It consisted of a fiery red/orange Raj scarf ($12.99), navy blue Ingredients jacket ($29.99), and white Mario Serrani skirt ($29.99) all from Winners, complete with a casual turquoise tank top ($5.00) and pair of white sandals ($10.00) from Urban Planet. Pretty impressive given Ivana is a hospital lab technologist, not in fashion or media. Her resourcefulness, quick pace, and beautifully colour-blocked combination represents what an average shopper can pull together at Vaughan Mills in under an hour. In the end, the judges chose Joyce ‘Jumpsuit’ Wong of Sparkly Playground as the winner of The Vaughan Mills Challenge. Congrats!
In association with Vaughan Mills, It’s All Style To Me is giving away a $100 gift card to one of you lucky guys or girls out there. All you have to do to enter the contest is the following:
- ‘Like’ the It’s All Style To Me Facebook Page and ‘Follow’ the @mandylor (It’s All Style To Me) Twitter Account.
- Re-post this article/post via Twitter using the hash-tag #itsallstyletome and #vaughanmills
- Share the post on your Facebook profile.
Contest is open to everyone residing in the Greater Toronto Area and the deadline for entry is by Monday, May 23rd, 10:00PM EDT. The winner will be chosen randomly and must meet all of the requirements listed above. The winner will be announced on Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011. Good luck!