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Beyond the Bale : September 2019
Through the sponsorship of fashion design competitions for tertiary students, AWI and its subsidiary The Woolmark Company are inspiring students in the early stage of their careers about the properties and benefits of Merino wool. The aim is to encourage them to continue to use the fibre in their designs as they progress through their professional lives. STUDENT WOOL WINNERS IN ASIA VISIT AUSTRALIA MERINO AWARDS AT LEADING CHINESE FASHION COLLEGES XINAO ‘KNIT FOR NEXT’ KNITWEAR DESIGN AWARD, CHINA NEXT GENERATION AWARD AT JAPANESE FASHION UNIVERSITY Student designers from the most prestigious fashion university in Japan created graduate collections using Merino wool, with one lucky student wining the opportunity to visit a wool-growing property in Australia. Tong Zhang, who is from mainland China, won this year’s Bunka Fashion Graduate University’s Next Generation Award, an annual award initiated by The Woolmark Company in 2016. This annual competition encourages students at the leading Tokyo-based fashion university to incorporate Australian Merino wool into their graduation collections. The students are trained through the Woolmark Appreciation Course and are inspired by viewing The Wool Lab sourcing guide. Participating students present their wool creations to a jury of industry, media, teachers and The Woolmark Company representatives. A prize of a trip to Australia to learn more about the origins of Merino wool is awarded annually to one student who shows the most unique creativity and a keenness to explore Merino wool’s potential. This year, Tong Zhang was that student (see opposite page). The Woolmark Company this year sponsored a Merino Award at two leading Chinese fashion schools to nurture the use of wool by its fashion and textile students. At an award ceremony in April, the graduates of the Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation at Donghua University showcased a total of 88 sets of their design works, with Yishu Zhang coming out on top and winning the Merino Award. Lin Lin won the Merino Award at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology. By sponsoring the two Merino Awards, The Woolmark Company was able to encourage both colleges’ students to use wool in innovative ways in their designs. Winning the Merino Awards gave Yishu and Lin the opportunity to travel on a study tour to Australia to visit a wool-growing property and gain first-hand knowledge of the ‘farm to Knit for Next is a knitwear design award presented by Chinese knitwear manufacturing giant Xinao. The award is supported by The Woolmark Company and the China Wool Textile Association, along with the Spinexpo trade show in Shanghai at which the winners were announced. In October last year, students Hiu Ham Lui and Wing Sem Mak, who are both majors in Knitwear Design and Technology at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, were announced as the winner and runner-up of the competition. Third prize went to Enping Chen and Suhui Song of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University. All four students won a trip to Australia to see the source of Merino wool (see opposite page). First prize winner Hiu Ham Lui used Xinao’s Easy Care and Cashfeel wool yarns to create a mesh effect on the surface of the fabric which emphasises the simple lines of the fashion’ story (see opposite page). Lecturers Chen Li of Donghua University and Cui Min of the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology also attended the study tour. Yishu Zhang of the Shanghai College of Fashion at the awards ceremony with The Woolmark Company’s Country Manager for China Jeff Ma and models wearing Yishu’s winning wool designs. The winning wool design of the Knit for Next competition by Hiu Ham Lui on display at the Spinexpo trade show in Shanghai. Tong Zhang made stunning full looks in a vibrant red wool cloth to win this year’s Next Generation Award. garment. She also used Xinao’s Empire yarn to impart flexibility and softness so that the garment can be worn against the skin. 26 OFF FARM
In the Shops - September 2019