Last night over 500 people crowded into the Mercedes Benz showroom in Newmarket for the Working Style Best Dressed Businessman Awards. I arrived a little late and got straight to work. I had a job to do – pick out the best dressed man in the room. This turned out to be a logistical nightmare. First, the sheer amount of people made moving a ridiculous task. Second, I had to try and find out the guy’s name and try to make him stay for the whole night without telling him he’d won something. It took me about 20 minutes to pick my guy. Dressed in a black pinstriped double breasted suit with a textured shirt, tie, pocket square and sweet spectacles, I was confident he was the man. I must have been really staring, because he came and introduced himself to me. Job one, check.
The programme began with Hamish McKay declaring that the PA system had gone down. Oh God. Op Shop’s Jason Kerrison was forced to sing Maybe on his knees to try and capture his voice and guitar in the one working microphone.
After the initial hiccups, things settled down and the awards were announced.
Mr Christchurch: Ben Williams, lawyer, Chapman Tripp.
Mr Wellington: Dr Allan Freeth, CEO, Telstra Clear.
Mr Auckland: Dr Parma Nand, cardiothoracic surgeon, Ascot.
Then the two new awards.
Sartorial: Mitchell Kornman, finance guy, Ernst and Young.
Contemporary: Brian Richards, brand strategist, Brian R Richards Brand Performance.
Then it was my turn. A couple of sentences from my speech:
Let’s be honest. We’re not a nation known for the sartorial flair of our businessmen. Our greatest national hero is a guy who PLAYED ON, despite breaking his arm, dislocating his shoulder and exploding his left testicle. Our youngsters don’t have well dressed men to look up to, they don’t even have dressed men to look up – they have Dan Carter in his jocks.
So it’s been exciting to work on an event that highlights that small group of guys who take their suits seriously, who aren’t afraid to try something new and who do get it right.
Working Style does a great thing in hosting these awards, and it’s due to companies like theirs that we see more than just a bunch of badly suited corporate drones roaming our CBD streets.
Then the final winner was announced.
Best Dressed Businessman of the Year: Ben Ford.
I LIKE YOU!