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Beyond the Bale : Feb - Mar 08
By Kellie Penfold It's soft, it's fine, it's light -- it's workwear. Australian Merino wool jumpers, vests and cardigans will this year be an addition to Australian workwear company King Gee's winter corporate- garment range. The introduction of Australian Merino wool to the collection is the first outcome from a working relationship developed between the company and AWI, which started in mid- 2007 when AWI organised for key King Gee personnel to experience the wool industry first hand with a visit to a wool-growing enterprise, a knitwear manufacturer and the M200 exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. King Gee marketing manager Feargal Caley says AWI opened the company's eyes to the possibilities of wool. "We were looking at ways we could improve our corporate- wear ranges with garments that suit the modern office environment," Mr Caley says. "The lightweight wool knitwear will be perfect because it has an up-to-date look and will be comfortable either in or out of the office." The company has regularly met with AWI since the tour and has been impressed by the innovations in wool knits and fabrics. Mr Caley says King Gee has also been able to take advantage of the latest fashion and consumer trend research shared with them by AWI. "It might be workwear, but we still like to keep up with what is happening in fashion. It does affect what colours and styles we use and it is important to be able to match fabric innovations with those trends. "We even had some colour samples of wool knits from AWI and they were particularly helpful in deciding what the range was going to look like." Initially, the King Gee knitwear will be available in black, navy and taupe, but if it is successful, more colours and styles will be added. AWI has also helped the company develop swing tags, which promote the garment as made from 100 per cent Australian Merino wool. "Many of our corporate customers are large companies which have a rural connection and we think they'll appreciate having Merino wool garments available to them," Mr Caley says. "Others may just like the fact they can invest in an Australian-grown fibre." ú Wool for the smart worker Looking for a way to improve their corporate range, Australian workwear company King Gee has been working with AWI on a lightweight knitwear range Australian Merino wool just got a whole lot warmer -- and a whole lot cooler too. The luxurious Red Island active and leisure wear winter 2008 range, created by fabric company Charles Parsons, will be available nationally from March 2008. Designed for comfort, the multi-climate Red Island collection is made from super-soft, ultra-light Merino and is designed for the active man and woman. Each garment delivers superior Merino comfort, moisture control and insulation. Wherever you travel in the world, the Red Island range provides comforting warmth in cold climates and cool breathability when the weather is hot. The Red Island range is soft against the skin and beautifully luxurious and comes in colours including charcoal, magenta, sage, azure blue, indigo, red, black and dove grey. A total of 14 Red Island styles will be delivered to Purely Merino stores in international airports around Australia. Stand by also for the summer 2008 range, which will expand into other activewear and outdoor retail stores nationally. The separate men's and women's ranges include a tank top, raglan long-sleeve t-shirt, a hooded zip-front jacket, a zip-front vest, travel pants, a jersey scarf and beanie. Originally developed by AWI for Purely Merino stores, the range is now being produced by influential and highly regarded fabric house Charles Parsons, using its own high-quality Merino wool jersey fabrics. "We are delighted to have Charles Parsons at the helm of the Red Island range," says AWI Australian product marketing manager, Jennifer Lau. "Through their involvement the range is now better than ever in a number of strong seasonal fashion colours. "Merino is the perfect fibre for activewear; it breathes like nothing else and takes you from cold weather to warmer climates in the blink of an eye. It's the world's oldest fibre and yet it is more technologically advanced than many man-made fibres." The Red Island range is made exclusively from 100 per cent Australian Merino wool fabrics and Australian Merino wool blended with elastane for additional stretch and recovery and low crease factor. The range also has high wicking and odour-dispelling properties, and is easy-care. ú Comfort for the active Originally developed by AWI, the Red Island range of activewear is now being driven and produced by the highly regarded fabrics company Charles Parsons 13 FASHION BEYOND THE BALE More information: www.redislandmerino.com, www.charlesparsons.com.au
Feb - Mar 08 Supplement
Apr - May 08