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Beyond the Bale : March 2011
March 2011 BEYOND THE BALE 5 OFF-FARM garment and make a connection between where the fibre is from, how it feels to touch, and how it makes them feel emotionally. "Merino wool has been a long term favourite of designers, but an era of disposable fashion has unfortunately meant younger consumers know little about the natural benefits of Merino wool. We really want to bring Merino into the 21st century and position it as a contemporary and fashionable fibre -- this campaign clearly communicates that." The advertisements feature specially selected garments from designers Richard Nicoll, Gieves & Hawkes, Hakaan, Hackett, Brooks Brothers, as well as custom Merino wool pieces, including 'next to skin' wear specially made for the shoot, all illustrating the versatilie qualities of Merino wool. The advertisements were shot by fashion photographer Sean Gleason and styled by the Executive Fashion Editor of Wonderland Magazine, Anthony Unwin. FIBRE AMBASSADORS Alessandro Benetton, Executive Deputy Chairman of Benetton Group and Margherita Maccapani Missoni, designer and heiress to the iconic Italian knitwear brand are the first of the campaign's fibre ambassadors. Margherita Maccapani Missoni is featured in advertisements wearing a dress made of Merino wool from the Missoni 2011 pre-fall collection, whilst Alessandro Benetton wears Merino garments from the United Colours of Benetton autumn/winter 2011/12 collection. The fibre ambassador campaign commenced in January with comprehensive exposure scheduled in Italian consumer and trade publications, plus additional coverage in Women's Wear Daily USA. The campaign was launched at the Pitti Filati trade show in Florence in January. "As key influencers within the fashion industry, Alessandro Benetton and Margherita Maccapani Missoni will help position Merino as the premium, luxury fibre of choice, for designers and consumers alike," Rob says. The number of fibre ambassadors will expand over the next three years to include other designers and industry leaders. NEW MEDIA To support the campaign, AWI will use the new merino.com website to provide consumers with information on the attributes and benefits of Merino as well as information about where to buy Merino garments. "By using media to 'wake up' our consumers and drive them to the internet, show them where to purchase, find out about and how to look after the garments, we will help break down the barriers to purchase at the high end of the market -- barriers mostly to do with lack of knowledge of the fibre and its many benefits," Rob says. "We need to deliver the messages in a way that young consumers want it delivered, and that means using a lot more digital and mobile media. The digital and mobile space is this new generation of consumers' home turf and it's where they research what they're going to spend their money on." The campaign will be undertaken in partnership with manufacturers, retailers and the media over the next three years across all AWI's marketing initiatives. AWI is in discussions with a range of iconic global brands to have them adopt elements of the campaign to further enhance the Merino "footprint" on the world of luxury, fashion, sports and baby products. More information: www.merino.com www.wool.com/nff unched Campaign and fibre ambassador Margherita Missoni wearing a dress made of Merino wool from the Missoni 2011 pre-fall collection. Campaign and fibre ambassador Alessandro Benetton wearing Merino from the United Colours of Benetton autumn/winter 2011/12 collection.