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Beyond the Bale : September 2016
HITS 5-YEAR HIGH THE WOOL LAB Half a decade since the launch of its first edition, The Wool Lab – the twice-yearly seasonal guide to the best wool fabrics and yarns in the world – continues to be a global success and an important tool for the fashion industry, including brands, retailers, manufacturers, spinners, weavers and the media. Five years on from the launch in June 2011 of the first edition, The Wool Lab is going from strength to strength. The Wool Lab is a seasonal guide that contains a selection of the most innovative and quality wool fabrics and yarns commercially available on the market from the best spinners and weavers in the world. Each edition contains a series of themes that include swatches and mood boards that tell a trend story and which encourages retailers and brands to view and source wool as a premium fibre. “The Wool Lab is created by AWI in collaboration with the most innovative and quality-oriented spinners and weavers from across the world,” AWI Country Manager for Italy Francesco Magri said. “The collections are being very well received by the trade. Each season, more and more fashion professionals look forward to seeing the latest edition as it offers the chance for them to explore an actual sourcing guide for the best commercially available wool fabrics and yarns in the world.” In June this year, AWI returned to the Pitti Uomo yarn and fabric trade show in Florence, Italy, to launch its eleventh edition of The Wool Lab, for the autumn/winter 2017/18 retail season. There are seven themes in this edition, including three dedicated to a style that is suitable for both womenswear and menswear, highlighting the continuation in the rise of androgynous dressing. There is also a theme targeted at the growing market for athleisure which contains technical and performance fabrics that evoke the world of sport and youthfulness, and another theme for creating wool homeware products and interior textiles. AWI showcases The Wool Lab at trade shows and at meetings held individually with retailers and brands across the world. AWI’s team of The Wool Lab specialists had more than 330 one-on-one meetings with clients for the previous edition (spring/ summer 2017), a 50 per cent increase from the number of meetings for the previous spring/summer edition. The clients are key players in several different markets such as fashion, premium casual and sports, and included the likes of Giorgio Armani, Max Mara, Hugo Boss, adidas, Nike, Helly Hansen, Levi Strauss and Tommy Hilfiger. The edition generated more than 9,000 requests for swatches from clients, an increase of 80 per cent compared to the previous season. “We have seen a chain reaction throughout the regions as we present this valuable tool across the globe,” Francesco said. The Wool Lab is also released in a preview format for spinners and weavers (for purchase) three months prior to the release of the main The Wool Lab book. A magazine format of The Wool Lab Preview is also made available (for purchase) for a broader audience. The magazine is distributed in more than 12 countries and sold at the best trade shows and in professional bookstores between the most leading trend books. Francesco says The Wool Lab, as an asset to AWI’s subsidiary The Woolmark Company, further reinforces the perception of the company as an international authority on Merino wool. “The response to the sourcing guide has been unprecedented. It is helping The Woolmark Company to be once again at the forefront of the international apparel industry, influencing the key influencers,” he added. MORE INFORMATION www.woolmark.com/thewoollab The Wool Lab guide to the best wool fabrics and yarns in the world is proving increasingly popular – here the spring/summer 2017 and autumn/winter 2017/18 editions are showcased at The Woolmark Company stand at the Pitti Uomo trade show in June. 12 OFF FARM
In the Shops - September 2016