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Beyond the Bale : March 2019
Designers Daniel Fletcher and Marta Jakubowski examining some Merino wool fabric. The designers experiencing the softness of the wool top at Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia. 2018/19 International Woolmark Prize alumni and AWI staff: (standing from left): Daniel Fletcher of Daniel w. Fletcher (UK, finalist); Marta Jakubowski (UK, semi-finalist); Alex Mullins (UK, semi-finalist); Liam Hodges (UK, semi-finalist); AWI’s Marketing Communications Assistant in the UK, Andra Maier; Tessa de Boer and Joris Suk of Maison the Faux (Netherlands, semi-finalist), Antonio Romano and Francesco Alagna of COMEFORBREAKFAST (Italy, semi-finalist); AWI’s Marketing Assistant in Italy, Elena Zanini and AWI’s Marketing & Communication Coordinator in Italy, Valeria Prencipe. Simone Ubertino Rosso from Vitale Barberis Canonico is in front. Designer Richard Malone (UK, semi-finalist) was absent from the photo. TOP DESIGNERS’ WOOL EDUCATION The International Woolmark Prize isn’t just about a competition. It’s also about educating the designers about the qualities and benefits of wool, so they’ll keep on using the fibre throughout their careers. As part of the International Woolmark Prize mentoring program, nine designers from seven brands taking part in the 2018/19 competition joined a tour and workshop in November at two of Italy’s leading wool mills, discovering the process of converting the fibre from greasy wool to yarn and fabric. As well as experiencing first-hand all the steps of wool manufacturing processes, they also learnt the many possibilities of working with this versatile fibre and the elements that can be customised or experimented with to fit a designer’s unique vision. The designers visited the iconic family- owned wool mills Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia (spinner) and Vitale Barberis Canonico (spinner and weaver), accompanied by representatives from AWI’s Milan office. The trip provided the opportunity for the designers to increase their knowledge of the wool manufacturing process and build valuable networks in the industry. According to designer Daniel Fletcher, a finalist in this year’s International Woolmark Prize, the mill visit was extremely insightful. “The trip helped me to see the huge variety and possibilities of wool and gain a greater understanding of the craftsmanship involved in producing it,” he said. As a result of the tour, Daniel has begun working with one of the mills, integrating wool into his recent autumn/winter 2019 collection in a significant way, with a strong focus on wool tailoring and knitwear, both of which were highly acclaimed in a review by fashion bible Women’s Wear Daily. “As a pillar of the fashion industry’s future, the International Woolmark As part of the ongoing International Woolmark Prize mentoring program, nine designers in this year’s competition were given the opportunity to visit textile mills in Biella, Italy – the home of luxury wool fabric production. Prize looks to continue its long legacy of supporting emerging designers in ways that allows them to connect, develop and commercialise their brands,” AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said. “Since its relaunch in 2012, nearly 500 young designers from 65 countries have benefited from the International Woolmark Prize’s mentorship, education and supply chain connections running from raw fibre right through to end-product. This network grows yearly and works to build strong relations between the global fashion industry and Australian wool. “Through the program’s mentoring program, the designers are imbued with a strong knowledge and love of wool that often translates into wool-rich collections.” 14 OFF FARM
In the Shops - March 2019