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Beyond the Bale : September 2015
OFF FARM 7 TRALIAN WOOL "I think that it's incredible the way that The Woolmark Company has got right into the heart of the fashion industry. Everywhere you go you feel that people are pushing the story of Merino wool and people are receptive to it too. What Woolmark has been very clever at doing is reminding people that wool is better and it lasts longer and it's the real deal. All these are positive steps forward. Younger fashion editors ... talk very enthusiastically about wool and the properties of wool and have become a little bit more disdainful of fibres that aren't wool." Nicholas Coleridge President International, Condé Nast "A lot of younger designers ... [now] use wool in incredibly different and varied ways, so actually I think wool is moving forward." Dylan Jones Editor in Chief, British GQ "I think Woolmark are doing a wonderful thing supporting young designers, and not just from Britain or Europe, this is the whole world, we have people from Australia, China, Japan and that's great, to treat the world as one." Victoria Beckham Fashion Designer "I think that the promotions from Woolmark at the moment are good because they've been working with people like myself who have solid businesses but also are a designer label as well. So that's a good balance between the commercial side and the more fashionable side." Sir Paul Smith Fashion Designer WOOL IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY CAMPAIGN FOR WOOL "The Campaign for Wool was a great boost for us, because it brought all wool's attributes and qualities out into the public realm, but in a fun way, so you felt that it was less about teaching and more about enjoying and sharing. It was and continues to be a very positive initiative for us." Anda Rowland Vice Chairman, Anderson & Sheppard "I think that the Prince of Wales lit a touch-paper and we've been able to all latch on to this thing in some way. Apart from being highly useful for wool and the sheep industry, it's been enormous fun. Everyone has a spring in their step at the moment. And I also think it has objectively had some success." Nicholas Coleridge President International, Condé Nast "Since we've had sheep wandering down Savile Row, to setting on fire garments and duvet covers at Clarence House by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the interest in wool has been quite amazing." Lindsay Taylor Sales Director, Holland & Sherry OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE "We're on a sort of rush at the moment and it's one of the most exciting moments in men's fashion because it's just apparent that there's this desire to look good, dress good ... I think wool fits into modern fashion like it always has ... There will always be a place for it, there will always be a place for that kind of quality." Gordon Richardson Creative Director, Topman (Topshop) "We are by far the largest [UK] retailer in terms of the usage of wool...Wool remains very important. For menswear we're talking about coats, we're talking about suits, we're talking about knitwear and in womenswear we'll see more and more utilisation of wool. It is actually, to put it very clearly, it's our preferred [fibre]." Marc Bolland CEO, Marks & Spencer "I think we need to think about broadening the appeal. I think at the very top end of the market, the most educated consumers, they understand why woollen textiles are important. But all the way down the chain there's a huge market, as we've seen with our Hammond & Co collection at Debenhams. It features an English wool cloth from Alfred Brown, it's an Australian Merino, it's a little bit more expensive. But people have been prepared to pay that 20 per cent premium to get a fabric they understand, that has a great quality, that will have a longer life, that will look better, wear better, and I think it's that side of the market that's important." Patrick Grant Norton & Sons "Wool is our blood and everything that represents the company, and we think it'll be more and more so in the future." Dominic Dormeuil President, Dormeuil "We're very fortunate that the High Street is now showing wool product. In particular I could mention companies that are internationally known such as Marks & Spencer, John Lewis which is a very well-known company and brand within the United Kingdom; also the likes of Topshop that all young people seem to enjoy." Lindsay Taylor Sales Director, Holland & Sherry