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Beyond the Bale : December 2017
One of the events hosted by AWI at Shanghai Fashion Week, as part of AWI’s inaugural Woolmark Studio initiative, was a workshop on Merino wool innovations and technical developments. Speakers from large Chinese mills included (left to right above): Fabrics Design Director at Shandong Ruyi Woollen Garment Group, Wang Yanlan; Sales Director at China’s Südwolle Group, Sammy Ye; Deputy General Manager at Zhejiang Xinao Textiles, John Liu; Deputy General Manager at Shandong Nanshan Fabric & Garment Co Ltd, Liu Gangzhong; AWI China Technical Manager, Junny Zhu. ICICLE SHARES AUSTRALIAN WOOL FARM WITH CHINESE CONSUMERS In addition, the crew visited AWI’s head office to interview AWI CEO Stuart McCullough about the future of wool in China, and also the wool auctions in Yennora. The live videos were also posted on ICICLE’s official social media channels as part of the brand’s strong multi-media strategy. INSTYLE CHINA MAGAZINE As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, AWI also collaborated with Instyle China for the magazine’s sustainability issue. Shot at Belgenny Farm in Camden, NSW, the stunning photo series featured famous Chinese actress Jiang Shuying, who wore six Merino wool looks from ICICLE’s latest collection, with one of the images gracing the magazine’s cover (see left) and eight other images forming a 10-page feature story in the same publication. “I was honoured to have the opportunity to visit Belgenny Farm,” actress and cover-girl Jiang Shuying told InStyle China. “The farm owner told me that it was established in 1805 and was also one of the first farms in Australia to receive the Merino sheep flock from Spain. “Merino wool is a high-quality fibre that is natural, renewable and biodegradable. I know that a lot of international luxury brands are working closely with The Woolmark Company and use Australian Merino wool as a result.” ICICLE representatives being shown around the Yennora wool stores in Sydney. AWI CEO Stuart McCullough explaining some wool innovations at the AWI Head Office in Sydney during the live-cross to China. Merino wool had a high profile at Shanghai Fashion Week in October, with AWI launching its inaugural Woolmark Studio to highlight the versatility of Australian Merino wool to the Chinese textile trade and media, and this year showcase the 12 finalists from the 2017/18 International Woolmark Prize. An important focus of AWI’s presence was the hosting of a series of workshops and panel discussions involving stakeholders from across the wool supply chain in China. Speakers included International Woolmark Prize alumni Six Lee, Ban Xiao Xue and Victor Zhu from VMajor; Fashion Director of GQ China, Cui Dan; designers Li Yushan and Zhou Jun from fashion brand Pronounce; designer Xu Zhi; Jillian Xin, Buyer from Chinese luxury department store Lane Crawford; as well as representatives from Chinese mills (see image below). The three-day AWI initiative gave visitors an up-close-and-personal look at the AWI held its inaugural Woolmark Studio at Shanghai Fashion Week, connecting members of the wool supply chain and shining the spotlight on the International Woolmark Prize alumni. Australian Merino wool fibre, aiming to inspire, educate and connect the textile supply chain. Aside from the opportunity to learn more about wool, visitors also discovered the latest technology and innovations involved in the development of products made from Australia’s luxury natural fibre. "Woolmark Studio is our new concept in China, bringing together exhibitions, forums, training and education, while connecting all partners in the supply chain – from vendors to retailers, from designers and brands to the media and consumers," said AWI Country Manager in China Jeff Ma. "We are proud of the debut of Woolmark Studio at Shanghai Fashion Week and the opportunity to this year bring together the winning pieces from the six regional International Woolmark Prize finalists for the first time. Both mark a significant step forward in our development here in China.” AWI RAISING WOOL’S PROFILE IN CHINA OFF FARM 17