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Beyond the Bale : September 2014
10 OFF FARM AWI has expanded its activities and partnerships at the menswear-specific fashion week London Collections: Men, including The English Gentleman promotion, as a way to highlight the relevance of Merino wool within men’s fashion for the spring and summer seasons. With London cementing its reputation as the global home of menswear, and men’s fashion becoming increasingly more prominent each season, AWI sees the importance and value in supporting influential UK menswear designers. “We collaborate each season with a selection of emerging talent and established iconic designers,” explained AWI Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Rob Langtry. “We introduce them to the qualities of the fibre and assist them with product development and connections to a wider network of Woolmark licensed Merino wool suppliers.” Designers Lou Dalton, Christopher Raeburn and Richard James returned to the London Collections: Men runways in June, in partnership with AWI, further embracing Cool Wool fabrics and expressing their own vision and interpretation of the fibre for the spring/summer 2015 season. Lou Dalton worked alongside UK mill Charles Clayton and was also sponsored with cloth by Lanifico F.lli Cerruti to showcase her signature contemporary classicism and refined tailoring, but engineered in a fresh and less formal garment form. For Christopher Raeburn, spring/summer 2015 was the designer’s third season working with AWI, specifically on Cool Wool, and he presented an innovative collection containing super lightweight woven Merino wool fabrics in suit jackets, shorts and trousers, as well as knitted casual vests and hybrid hoodies. The latest collection for Savile Row designer Richard James drew inspiration from the Sahara Desert, with lightweight Cool Wool fabrics returning for yet another season to allow the Richard James man to remain cool in the heat of the moment. As part of the Cool Wool promotion at London Collections: Men, AWI also ran a Sheep Art campaign in which several leading UK designers were invited to create their interpretation of a Merino sheep, which not only complemented the use of Merino wool for their spring/summer 2015 collections but also embodied the essence of Cool Wool: that wool is a fibre for all seasons. The designers’ artwork was exhibited throughout London Collections: Men and an online competition was held to promote the hashtag Cool Wool (#coolwool) and expose the Cool Wool message to consumers. THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN In a similar manner to past seasons in association with London Collections: Men, AWI once again teamed up with the fine tailors of Savile Row to present the modern face of British elegance via ‘The English Gentleman’ promotion. Events in previous seasons have been held at Lord’s Pavilion and the Cabinet War Rooms. This season however, The English Gentleman was ‘on leave’ – preparing for an overseas trip to Rio. Actor Ed Stoppard, who is famous for playing Sir Hallam Holland in Upstairs, Downstairs, and Bridey Flyte in Brideshead Revisited, stars in images and a film associated with the promotion. The film documents The English Gentleman’s preparation for his trip as he visits the tailors of Savile Row and commissions the bespoke Merino wool pieces he will need, all while delivering to the audience the spring/summer message that ‘Wool is Cool for summer’. “We highly value our collaboration with Savile Row in producing ‘The English Gentleman’ each season,” says Mr Langtry. “It highlights the craftsmanship and heritage associated with this sector of the menswear industry, bringing the tailors and Merino wool to the forefront of the global fashion arena and international press. The importance of Savile Row never diminishes and in recent years has increased its popularity, and the influence of fine tailoring, on key global markets including the USA, Japan and China.” FOR ALL SEASONS A MAN’S FIBRE At London Collections: Men fashion week, AWI partnered with three leading UK menswear designers that use Cool Wool fabrics in their latest spring/summer collections. AWI also teamed up with Savile Row to present the next installment of ‘The English Gentleman’ promotion, highlighting Merino wool as a premium fibre suitable for travel in warmer climes. An online campaign, involving designer participation, was run to spread the message to consumers that Merino wool is a fibre for all seasons. MORE INFORMATION www.merino.com/coolwool www.merino.com/the-english-gentlemen Actor Ed Stoppard visits the tailors of Savile Row to prepare for his overseas travels to Rio – as seen in the latest installment of The English Gentleman – delivering to the audience the message that Merino wool is a fibre for all climates and seasons.