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Beyond the Bale : June 2015
16 OFF FARM Following the signing in December of a marketing collaboration agreement between AWI and China’s leading purveyor of luxury menswear, the Eve Group, the Chinese company’s premium men’s clothing brand Kevin Kelly has sourced Woolmark Gold certified fabric for its suits and used the Woolmark Gold branding. The fabric in the suits has been supplied by a number of Woolmark Gold exclusively licensed weavers in Europe – including Reda, Vitale Barberis Canonico and Dormeuil – and is made from Australian Merino wool with a fibre diameter of 19.5 microns or less. It is estimated around 12,000 metres of Woolmark Gold fabrics have been purchased so far to make the suits for the Kevin Kelly stores. The signing of the collaboration agreement during the Australia China Business Council's ‘Thinking Big’ Australia China Entrepreneur dialogue forum held in Sydney, a week after the finalisation of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, drew a lot of media attention. The Eve Group has more than 500 premium stores throughout China. “Over the past 20 years we have seen Chinese companies enter and begin to develop the market for luxury apparel in China,” AWI’s Chief Strategy and Marketing Office Rob Langtry said. “The Eve Group was founded in 1994 and owns high-ranking men’s fashion brands such as Kevin Kelly, and is the agent for Versace, Kenzo, Fendi and other famous international brands. This collaborative effort has accelerated the understanding, acceptance and sale of high quality fashion made from Australian Merino wool to high end consumers through Eve's very strong network of 535 boutiques and bespoke businesses across China.” Retail training was presented by AWI to Kevin Kelly’s top sales managers in February at Eve’s fashion and cultural center in Beijing. The training included an introduction to Woolmark and Woolmark Gold branding, the benefits of Merino wool and why the fibre is the best choice for making the suits. The sales managers then trained their shop floor staff so that they can directly influence their customers’ purchasing decisions. Also in February, AWI in partnership with the Eve group launched a special Woolmark Gold promotional event in Beijing at Kevin Kelly’s flagship store in the luxury Huamao Centre. It was attended by Eve Group CEO Zhang Ting, VIP guests, and trade and fashion media including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar Men’s Style, China Daily, Xinhua News, YokaMen.cn, Global Times and the BTV Beijing channel. Eve Group CEO Zhang Ting said Woolmark Gold is a symbol of quality that guarantees the quality of a product for the consumer. “It means a lot to us to be associated with the brand and it gives us a marketing edge over our competitors,” he said. “Since we launched the branded product in our stores in January we have had lots of inquiry.” EVE PROMOTION The Eve Group, which has more than 500 premium stores throughout China, has undertaken a Woolmark Gold promotion for suits and garments made from Australian superfine Merino wool. Woolmark Gold tickets are being used by the Eve Group’s Kevin Kelly brand on its Woolmark Gold suits and garments during the autumn/winter 2014/15 and spring/summer 2015 seasons. Woolmark Gold marketing collateral with the Eve Group’s imagery has been placed along with Woolmark Gold bespoke fabrics and garments in the Kevin Kelly stores. IN CHINA