David Russo of Midcounties Co-operative looks back on the highlights of a trip to Texas last year that turned him into a Cover Star, despite being camera shy and a reluctant shopper.

Q. It’s been a year since your trip to Texas with Cover Stars, how does it feel looking back on it now?
A. I still have a big smile on my face. It was an amazing trip. It was epic to say the least. I loved it.

Q. Have you sold much Texas since the trip?
A. Before going to Texas, I hadn’t sold it at all, but since returning I’ve included a Fort Worth stopover for a couple flying to Texas for a gig. They asked if Fort Worth was really cowboy-like and I said it was worth visiting. When they returned they said it was amazing and were grateful. That is the only Texas trip I have sold, but before the Cover Stars trip I would not have recommended it.

Q. You were lucky enough to fly business class. How was that?
A. Amazing. On the way back we flew with American Airlines and I slept like a baby the whole way. I’ve never slept on a plane that well. It really helped me with the jet lag.

Q. With a packed first day ahead, you needed a rest on the flight out, so did you manage to sleep then?
A. On the way out it was so exciting, but it was tough going once we were there, because we were so tired. We went to this huge Mexican restaurant, which was amazing. There was a queue of people, but we got ushered through like VIPs. After that we went to a rodeo, something I thought I’d never get to experience. Then we went to a Willie Nelson gig at the biggest pub I’ve even been to. I went to bed after being awake for more than 30 hours, but I was still buzzing.

Q. Tell us about where you stayed.
A. We stayed at the Sheraton Hotel in Fort Worth, the Omni Downtown in Austin and the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine. It had a Christmas winter wonderland feel; I expected it be cheesy, with it being Christmas, but this was edam and cheddar all rolled into one!

Q. What did you like about Austin?
A. If I could go back to one of the places we visited, I would go back to Austin. I knew about it before and was excited to see those iconic venues. Going backstage where they did the radio shows, I was like ‘Oh my God, I’m in a room where bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers have been’.

Q. Did you enjoy the shopping?
A. I am not a shopper, but it was a great experience. Caroline and Louise told me what to wear and I was really grateful to them. They were feeling a bit of pressure because I told them my wife works in fashion and she usually buys most of my clothes. I thought: ‘Why not go for it?’. I am still wearing clothes from that trip now; I was really pleased with it. I do not dress smart all the time, but this was smart casual anyway.

Q. Where was the cover shot taken?
A. I went to the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, where an Andy Warhol Exhibition was on at the time. It was closed because it was a Monday, but the tourist board people came down and opened the place up so we could do the shoot. A lady who worked there asked what work I did, expecting me to be a superstar, but I told them I was a travel agent. Although I don’t like having my picture taken, the photographers made me feel very comfortable.

Q. What clothes did you get for the photo shoot?
A. We went to a Simon Mall in Fort Worth. I went into Lacoste first, as Caroline had picked something, but she was not happy with it. We had a look round, then went to Hugo Boss, where Caroline fell in love with this jacket; then we just had to find the top and trousers.

David’s outfit

David’s outfit is perfect for any occasion. The jacket and shoes from the Hugo Boss outlet and jumper and jeans from Lucky Brand Outlet creates the ultimate combination of smart-casual. Shot at the Modern Art Museum of Texas, David’s look was created at Grand Prairie Premium Outlets. Part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the Simon property offers spectacular discounts of 25%-65% every day from more than 110 outlet stores including Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store, Hugo Boss, J-Crew and Tommy Hilfiger.

David’s sales tips

  1. Definitely visit Fort Worth to get a real taste of Texan living.
  2. Austin is a contemporary, down-with-the-kids city, a cool place for people who like music.
  3. If you are into arts, visit Fort Worth’s ModernArt Museum.