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Beyond the Bale : December 2010
Chinese brands inspired by Aussie wool FAST FACTS l A young delegation from the Chinese textile industry has been inspired by a tour of the Australian wool industry. l The brands, retailers and designers will be using Australian Merino wool in their collections. l The tour reported live to China as part of their current season's marketing activities -- a good example of leveraged marketing activity. Agroup of brands, retailers, designers and media representing China's burgeoning textile industry travelled to Australia in September to experience the country's wool industry first hand. Chinese domestic market brands have in recent years been developing their sense of creativity and design, catering to the individuality of young, modern Chinese consumers. This tour was organised to provide the brands with a creative impetus based on the Australian experience, and especially Australian wool. Hosted by AWI, the group travelled across the country from west to east to meet the people, animals and landscape that define the iconic industry. Their itinerary included the Perth Royal Show, fashion parades and wool properties in WA and NSW. The brands now have the inspiration and tools required to put Australian wool at the front of their promotion strategies. The tour included representatives from companies including JNBY, Croquis, Schiesser, EP, Kroceus, Les Enphants and ICICLE with over 3500 collective retail outlets. These are the same brands that launched their autumn/winter 2010-2011 Merino apparel collections with AWI at the Shanghai World Expo in June. "We have been introduced to the benefits of wool having worked with AWI in China," Marketing Director of the ICICLE brand Shawna Tao said. "We are now eager to put the natural messages and images of wool at the front of our marketing material and incorporate the fibre as a core pillar of our brand." AWI global business development manager Sam Guthrie said the tour succeeded in its purpose to get the companies' designers and marketers inspired by wool "It was a great opportunity for our Chinese partners to gain an appreciation of where the fibre begins its journey, to see the science, knowledge and passion involved in growing Australian wool," Sam said. "Those on the tour will now use this inspiration to build new wool collections for next year. All of them were eager to photograph their next season's catalogue in Australia, show their garments here and be inspired by our country and our product. "While they were on tour, they reported live to China about their visit -- via blogs, pictures and video footage -- as part of their marketing activities for this current autumn/ winter season. They had over 160,000 people in China following their reports. "This was a great example of leveraged marketing activity." Sam says that while the Woolmark Gold program is focused on the mature market of suiting, the brands on this tour are making aggressive 'incursions' into new markets: womenswear, fashion, kidswear, underwear and sportswear. "I think this shows the possibility of a new world for wool' -- a new world in the sense of the growing Chinese domestic market, a new world in terms of driving wool hard into new markets, plus new and young fashion brands being inspired by our fibre." More information: View the brands' tour reports at: http://lady.qq.com/zt/2010/merino www.wool.com/AWI-News.htm A Chinese delegation of marketers and designers excited by the landscape of Helen Cathles' woolgrowing property at Wee Jasper, NSW. December 2010 BEYOND THE BALE 10 OFF-FARM