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my 1980's decor australia BYO wine cooler collection

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (1 item)

    The decor insulated wine carrier with wine chiller was designed in 1978 to meet the needs of people in Melbourne who patronised 'BYO' (bring your own) restaurants, which was a popular practice at this time. It can also be used as a bottle drink carrier for sporting events, picnics and barbecues. Designed by Richard Carlson, it was very different from any other product on the market. It can hold two bottles of wine or four drink cans, and the removable chiller can be frozen before being placed between the bottles to keep them cool. The swing handle locks the lid into position.

    This product represents one of the most successful products from Decor, a significant Australian homewares company. The cooler was awarded an Australian Design Award in 1979 and the Prince Philip Prize in 1980. In 1980 the wine carrier was being manufactured under licence in USA, Sweden and West Germany and continues to sell more than 25 years later in the USA. Decor went on to expand their range of coolers, creating a wine cask carrier, ice box and picnic hamper.The company won more than 250 Australian Design Awards over the 1980s. Decor founder Brian Davis, along with designers Richard Carlson and Tony Wolfenden were inducted into the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame in 1996.

    This wine carrier represents the popular Australian practice of 'BYO' first introduced in the 1960s in response to unlicensed consumption of alcohol in restaurants. Dining out, wine and BYO became popular in Australia from the 1970s. And by 2004 Australia had a higher consumption of wine per glass per person than the USA, UK or New Zealand. But in the late 1990s the practice of BYO declined as more restaurants became fully licenced, and their sales of wine and alcohol became critical in a very competitive market

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    1. AmberRose AmberRose, 7 years ago
      A rainbow! Love it!
    2. AnneLanders AnneLanders, 7 years ago
      Fantastic post, here is the Consumers version of your story that seems to be possibly an inside story? Also, any chance you can show more than one photo, the inside workings with the pull out freezer bottle would be good and a shot with the top off....

      My father had the green one and I had the white. He also bought the wine cooler but when the cask companies had stupid dimensions they seem too short for some from memory or too small width wise...

      Owning one of these was a status symbol but pretty useless for us red wine or spirit drinkers but great for the TAB or the Loys Cocktail soft drink soon it became another item to sell at the Peninsula market place on a Sunday morning if you could be bothered to get up that early.

      Decor really did do the whole primary colours in plastic well, from knives, forks, plastic cups and plates for picnics and serviettes both small and large, the larger preferred by our family.

      I'm unsure if the BYO came in around the 1960's, I thought it was much earlier ...people though started to get turned off by BYO when they introduced a corkage charge, moving up to ridiculous prices...and do you know what it was like walking up Toorak Rd or Lygon Street with one of these things in an endeavour to find a combined or BYO only place to eat?

      I commend Decor on their ingenious marketing strategy and ability to meet the needs of the Australian middle classes. You can understand too why these were popular in Sweden, they have that look about them...but they missed a market..the broke uni student smuggling Southern Comfort midi bottles in to the Bombay Bicycle Club or Bananas to see The Knack or Swanee perform! Perhaps a ladies handbag style could have worked?

      There is no doubt though they are still hugely popular at Australian backyard BBQs and well fought over during the reading of the Will, especially where the colours Red or Yellow are involved....

      Thank you for sharing this fantastic Australian history story, it has allowed me to revisit a period in time of great delight, excitement, innocence and a growth in the Melbourne food cuisine that is the envy of London, New York but even better SYDNEY!
    3. racer4four racer4four, 7 years ago
      Thanks for the post Michael! Love Decor stuff - MOMA has these in their collection! I think Decor is Australia's Guzzini, another great plastics company.

      LOL Anne, bit of Victorian/Melbournian slant on things there! If only you all pronounced your vowels correctly..... Great story though!

      I never owned one! Still see them around at the op shops and think about it because they are iconic but, well, you know, never used one before, won't now.

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