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Beyond the Bale : December 2016
Japan continues to be an important market for wool apparel, due to the country’s population, climate and affluence. AWI is therefore very active in the country where its 126 million people are acknowledged for their luxury goods consumption and understanding of quality. ENDURING DEMAND FOR WOOL JAPAN’S The GQ Japan website promoting the use of wool by high profile Japanese designers. Japanese menswear label Attachment has released a 24-piece Merino wool collection, available now. Japanese actor Tori Matsuzaka fronting the Nano Universe campaign, supported by AWI. JAPANESE DESIGNERS TALK WOOL TO GQ In partnership with GQ Japan, AWI visited the studios of six renowned Japanese menswear designers as part of a newly launched web series titled ‘Wool and Japanese Designers’. The six-part series interviews each of the leading fashion designers, with GQ Japan’s website hosting a different interview each month. Part one talks to Yohji Yamamoto of the YOHJI YAMAMOTO brand. The exclusive interview, conducted by GQ Japan editor- in-chief Masafumi Suzuki, highlights Yamamoto’s passion for wool and how wool is incorporated into his designs. With more than 130,000 people watching this first video on The Woolmark Company’s YouTube channel, in addition to the traffic driven to GQ’s own website, there was a high level of anticipation for the remaining five episodes. The idea for the video series was born out of a desire to invite consumers into a designer’s world, whilst exploring their relationship with Merino wool and positioning the Woolmark brand at the forefront of cutting-edge fashion in Japan. JAPANESE LABEL ATTACHMENT HEROES TASMANIAN MERINO WOOL AWI has partnered with Japanese menswear label Attachment to create a wool collection, with more than 4,500 garments on sale throughout Attachment’s seven stores and 50 stockists across Japan, and online shop. Designer Kazuyuki Kumagai has long worked with wool in his collections, with about 70 per cent of the label’s current autumn/winter 2016 collection using the natural fibre. It was from the designer’s existing love of wool’s naturally inspiring benefits that a collaboration with AWI’s subsidiary The Woolmark Company, was realised resulting in a special capsule collection crafted from Tasmanian Merino wool. “The appeal of wool is that it can change to suit various expressions whilst providing high heat retention,” explains Kamugai of the collection, which arrived in Attachment’s various Japanese boutiques in October. “It can have a soft feel with thanks to the fineness of the yarn, but it can also be fulsome, and form a great coat with a sturdy quality. It can have a luxurious feel, too, or something unique by mixing it with linen or hemp. Wool has infinite possibilities, and I believe that it’s still possible to create new types.” Attachment’s capsule collection comprises 24 pieces (including two available exclusively in-store) in a variety of colours, including thick wool melton coats, a specialty of the label, as well as wool flannel pants and knitwear, all showcasing the beautiful texture of Merino wool. NANO UNIVERSE PROMOTES ULTRAFINE MERINO WOOL Nano Universe, one of the largest Japanese retailer brands, recently ran a large-scale men’s knitwear campaign in collaboration with AWI. Taking place throughout 50 stores across Japan during September and October, the campaign focused on Woolmark- certified, 100% Australian Merino wool items of 16.2 micron. 21,000 pieces were for sale, available in four styles and six colours. Famed Japanese actor Tori Matsuzaka fronted the campaign, driving the message of luxury and comfort. In addition, the tagline ‘Made by beautiful sheep’ nods to the provenance of Australian Merino wool, with in-store imagery used to support the campaign. The campaign garnered comprehensive media coverage, including local TV advertising and print advertisement in seven of the most influential male magazines. This was complemented by a two-week outdoor campaign that displayed the campaign video in one of Tokyo’s busiest places, in the heart of Shibuya fashion district. Nano Universe’s 50 retail stores also had point-of-sale collateral promoting the campaign, with special window installations in its five flagship stores. In addition, the brand hosted a dedicated page on its website, along with comprehensive digital content on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. OFF FARM 15
In the Shops - March 2017