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Beyond the Bale : June 2019
The costs of attending fashion school can be prohibitive for young designers from poorer backgrounds, which is why ELLE launched in France the ELLE Solidarité Mode scholarship program in 2004 for young women who don’t have financial resources of their own. Last year, for the first time, ELLE rolled out the scholarship program abroad – in Japan – and AWI’s marketing arm The Woolmark Company was the official sponsor. More than 100 high schools and fashion institutions were contacted. Applicants aged 18 to 23 from across Japan competed for the scholarship, designing garments with the theme ‘Denim Style in Wool’. Ten semi-finalists created apparel made from Wool Denim from Japanese denim mill Showa Textiles. Five gifted students were then selected for the grand final held on 9 March in Tokyo, which was won by 18-year-old Ayame Sasaki from Sendai. She wins a three-year scholarship to attend leading design school ESMOD JAPON. “The Woolmark Company’s sponsorship of this highly visible fashion-related scholarship program has helped raise wool’s profile in student education in Japan,” said AWI Country Manager Japan, Samuel Cockedey. “It has also helped the company build connections and reinforce the company’s relationships with ELLE and ESMOD in Japan An outstanding design using Wool Denim has won a talented young designer in Japan a three-year scholarship at a leading fashion school, in an initiative from ELLE magazine and supported by The Woolmark Company. Spanning both Asian and European markets, Turkey is an important country in which AWI works to build the awareness and use of Australian wool. WOOL DENIM WINNER IN JAPAN TALKING TURKEY With Turkey’s growing domestic market becoming increasingly sophisticated and with the country boasting a strong local manufacturing industry, AWI works to build the presence of Australian wool within the Turkish textile and retail sectors. BUSINESS LEADERS FORUM In March, AWI’s marketing arm The Woolmark Company brought together about 40 leaders from the Turkish textile industry, including washing machine manufacturers, at a business forum in Istanbul to promote Australian wool and show how the fibre can further benefit the Turkish textile industry. This annual event is an important networking event for the leading businesses of the region’s textile industry. The keynote speaker this year was the Victorian Government’s Commissioner to the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Gerard Seeber, who emphasised to the audience the scale of the Australian wool industry and the quality the its fibre. NATURALLY INSPIRING SEMINAR The Woolmark Company also hosted in March in Istanbul another of its Naturally Inspiring seminars for tertiary fashion and textile students. The seminar showcased the properties and benefits of Australian wool as well as various employment opportunities within the industry – providing the students with a knowledge of and connection with the fibre which will stay with them as they progress through their professional lives. More than 200 students attended the seminar to hear speakers from The Woolmark Company and the broader textile industry. The students also had the opportunity to view The Wool Lab sourcing guide to the best commercially available wool fabrics and yarns from some of the world’s leading spinners and mills. as well as the established designers on the competition’s jury. “ELLE’s print, digital and video platforms provided vast media exposure for the scholarship and Wool Denim, and as a bonus we also received complimentary promotion of the International Woolmark Prize from ELLE.” The five finalists’ Wool Denim garments in the ELLE Solidarité Mode competition. Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Japan, Kanako Sakai, with the scholarship winner Ayame Sasaki and her winning design. The Victorian Government’s Commissioner to the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Gerard Seeber, speaking at this year’s Business Leaders Forum in Istanbul hosted by The Woolmark Company. More than 200 tertiary students learnt about Australian wool at the recent Naturally Inspiring seminar held in Istanbul. OFF FARM 25