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Beyond the Bale : March 2012
March 2012 BEYOND THE BALE 11 OFF-FARM FAST FACTS l AWI took five of Australia’s brightest young fashion designers to New York to showcase their collections as part of the annual G’Day USA promotion. l Australian Merino was showcased to key international fashion industry heavyweights. l The designers networked with major buyers and promoted innovations in Merino. Australian wool fashion apparel was showcased in New York City in January when Aussie fever took over Manhattan as part of the annual ‘G ’Day USA: Australia week’ promotional program. Five of Australia’s most promising young fashion designers showcased their collections to New York’s top tier of press and fashion industry executives on Australia Day, as part of the fortnight-long celebrations. The event was the highlight of the Australian Five program, a joint effort between AWI and the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation (AINYFF). It was an opportunity for designers Michael Lo Sordo, Kym Ellery, Magdalena Velevska, Christopher Esber and Fernando Frisoni to present their autumn/winter collections to some of the most influential buyers in the USA. AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said the promotional event provided invaluable experience to the emerging fashion designers as well as endorsement of the superior qualities of Merino wool. “ The Australian Five is focused on bringing the best of Australian design and putting them in front of New York’s best fashion editors, stylists and buyers,” Mr McCullough said. “ It blends the best of Australian fashion with the best of Australian Merino wool to produce innovative pieces reflecting our country. “ The USA is a primary market for the Australian wool industry, with targets in women’s knitwear as well as wovens. Events such as G’Day USA allow us to not only build but also maintain relationships with key industry players and further commercialise innovations in Merino.” The designers said they walked away with priceless experiences. “I absolutely loved hearing about the success of our fellow Australians in New York from the AINYFF,” designer Kym Ellery said. “I t was so good to be able to sit down and have a round table discussion about what focus and energy is required to make it in the US market. I left feeling super inspired and ready for the challenges ahead.” She said a definite highlight was meeting buyers from major stores such as Barney’s and SAKS. Mr Frisoni agreed that networking was a major highlight of the event and he was ready and excited for what the future would bring. He said everyone involved in the organisation of the event not only inspired and motivated him but also allowed him to meet key people within the industry he would not have normally been exposed to. “AWI opened a door to me, which is actually very hard to open it alone. I am very grateful for this opportunity.” More information: www.merino.com Designers say “G’day USA” The Australian Five: (back) Magdalena Velevska and Michael Lo Sordo; (front) Fernando Frisoni, Kym Ellery and Christopher Esber. l AWI attended the 2nd annual VOGUE Knitting live event in New York in January to showcase Merino wool yarns to consumers and trade customers, educating them on the benefits of knitting with wool. l Visitors learnt about and experienced wool in various stages from greasy wool to finished hand knitted garments, and received brochures, information and complimentary yarn samples from selected Woolmark licensees. l Hand knitting has a huge following in the USA with over 50 million Americans knowing how to knit or crochet. Hand knitting in the USA is a US$1.5 billion industry. l Participating Woolmark licensee yarn brands included Debbie Bliss, Erika Knight, Katia, Lanas Stop, Rosarios 4, Rowan Yarns, and Valley Fibers. More information: www.vogueknittinglive.com VOGUE Knitting