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Beyond the Bale : September 2016
British menswear label Agi & Sam is an example of an emerging brand with which AWI has built up a relationship over several years, helping the designers foster an enduring connection with Australian Merino wool and reinforce the presence of the fibre in the international fashion industry. STRONG PARTNERSHIP WOVEN WITH WOOL Agi & Sam, representing the British Isles, showcasing their designs to the judges – and putting their best foot forward – at the global finals of the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize in Florence in January 2016. Agi & Sam’s journey with Merino wool and AWI started back in 2013, when the emerging label participated in AWI’s ‘Loom to London’ program which takes up-and-coming UK-based designer brands to visit select British and European mills. The aim of the program is to improve designers’ understanding of wool textile production and help them forge relationships with sourcing contacts. It is also an opportunity for prestigious mills to showcase their production process and fabric collections with fashion labels working with wool. As part of the program, Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton – the talented design duo behind Agi & Sam – visited a number of mills in Yorkshire including Luxury Fabrics (owners of long-established British brands Charles Clayton, William Halstead, Reid & Taylor and Sam Cotton and Agape Mdumulla of Agi & Sam, with model (centre), were the winners of the British Isles regional final of the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize in July 2015. John Foster) and Abraham Moon & Sons, before travelling to Huddersfield to visit fabric finishers W. T. Johnson & Sons. “Loom to London was a great experience for us,” said Sam. “It was incredible to see the fabric production process in action from start to the finish, especially seeing how most of these techniques are so fundamental to the development of the perfect wool fabric and yarn. “It made us start to think in a lot more detail about wool and the processes involved to make it into a commodity, breaking each step down and seeing how we could have an effect on its structure and aesthetic.” This exploration of Merino wool’s benefits and boundaries helped propel Agi & Sam onto the world stage when the duo won the 6 OFF FARM
In the Shops - September 2016