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Beyond the Bale : June 2016
20 OFF FARM While it was Britain’s number one tennis player Andy Murray and American Serena Williams who raised the winners’ trophies in the finals of the Italian Open in Rome last month, it was sporting brand ‘Australian’ and Australian Merino wool that were the winners at all 160 matches held throughout the tournament. One might expect that a brand called ‘Australian’, which also has a kangaroo as part of its logo, would be a brand from Down Under. However ‘Australian’ is an iconic Italian sportswear brand created 60 years ago in Milan by L’Alpina Maglierie Sportive S.p.A. It was the technique, dynamism and class of Australian tennis champions Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, who imposed themselves on tennis courts after World War II, which inspired the creation of the ‘Australian’ brand by L’Alpina. Today, the brand’s apparel is now distributed in 16 different countries as well as more than 400 stores in Italy. This year, the ‘Australian’ brand collaborated with the Italian office of AWI’s subsidiary The Woolmark Company to unveil the world’s first pure Merino wool tennis collection. It comprises polo shirts, T-shirts and shorts, inspired by the clean and classical silhouettes of the 1960s. The brand’s ATP team was the first ever to wear the collection, during the Italian Open held last month. “To be honest, at the beginning I was a little bit sceptical because I thought that playing tennis with a wool T-shirt wasn’t a thing that happens daily,” leading Italian tennis Paolo Lorenzi said. “But I have to say that I was amazed because the fabric is of very high-quality; the perception you will be hot, in reality, is unreal. I have to admit that I was satisfied and I hope there will be other occasions to use this T-shirt.” The tournament’s officials were also dressed for the duration of the competition in 100 per cent Merino wool polo shirts and jumpers. The apparel was available to buy in the ‘Australian’ brand’s shops at the stadium. “The past few years has seen an explosive growth in demand for activewear, which presents huge opportunities for Merino wool as a technical textile,” AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said. “The collaboration between the ‘Australian’ brand and AWI is an example of how we are collaborating with leading manufacturers and brands to promote the natural benefits of wool as a performance fibre, with the aim to revitalize the use of wool in activewear.” A new collaboration between AWI and iconic Italian brand ‘Australian’ – the oldest sports brand in the Italian market – went public during the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome last month. ‘AUSTRALIAN’ A WINNER AT ITALIAN OPEN The ‘Australian’ brand’s Merino apparel was available to purchase at the Italian Open. The officials of the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome were dressed in Merino wool polo shirts and jumpers that displayed the Woolmark logo prominently on the sleeves. Leading Italian tennis player Paolo Lorenzi was the first person to wear the ‘Australian’ brand’s 100 per cent Merino wool tennis T-shirt on court at the Italian Open.
In the Shops - September 2016