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Beyond the Bale : Feb - Mar 08
17 GLOBAL BEYOND THE BALE A key challenge for wool is to attract the younger, eco-conscious, sports-apparel consumer. 4. JULIAN LOUIE chosen by FRANCISCO COSTA for CALVIN KLEIN A young Julian Louie left California to study architecture at Cooper Union University in New York.Two years later he discovered a passion for fashion, which he believed had the same imaginative force as architecture in defining the contexts of modern living. In 2005, with an internship at the fashion house Imitation of Christ, Julian entered the field. Subsequently, the young architect -- now in love with fashion -- joined the Calvin Klein style office headed by Francisco Costa.This makes the latter's choice of Julian as his protégé for the Australian Merino wool initiative all the more significant. 5. JEAN-PIERRE BRAGANZA chosen by KARL LAGERFELD Born in London with an Irish mother and Asian father, Jean-Pierre Braganza attended the prestigious St. Martin's School. Upon graduating, he had the chance to work alongside Roland Mouret, from whom he learned the art of ultra-feminine cuts. On the calendar of London Fashion Week since 2004, he presents men's and women's collections that always capture the imagination of international buyers and media. Chosen by Karl Lagerfeld for the Protégé Project, he explores the potential of Australian Merino wool through his distinctly structured style. "Superfine is the big thing that designers in the US are asking for, and in Europe knitwear is making a comeback," she said. "We want to make Merino glamorous, sexy and -- for women -- feminine. By encouraging this trend, we are confident that we can declare war on cashmere and increase wool prices at the high end of the market." AWI's apparel product development and marketing manager Pascal Senkoff said the company had also identified global macro consumer trends through surveys conducted by renowned research companies Millward Brown and Publicis. "There are three major global trends facing the Australian wool industry," Mr Senkoff said. "The global ageing phenomenon will be the predominant demographic trend of the next two generations, providing significant markets for traditional woollen apparel. Conscious consumption has ousted rampant consumerism, with active and informed consumers prepared to pay for natural, ethical fibres whose production can be traced from grower to retailer. And the experience economy has dawned, with consumers motivated by sensory factors such as touch, smell and emotion." With the spread of AWI offices into key international marketplaces -- including China and India -- Mr Senkoff said AWI's acquisition of Woolmark had increased its number of business-to-business partnerships with key market leaders to 90. "Collaborative business relationships will be a catalyst for new products driving international demand for Australian Merino," he said. "Heightened contact with fashion trendsetters and international trade leaders is providing market intelligence on what consumers are looking for in wool garments." This knowledge, together with focused consumer research, develops AWI's understanding of global trends and influences the development of new technologies, innovative products and marketing strategies. -- MELISSA BRANAGH More information: www.merinoinnovation.com 2 3 4 5 2. IOANNIS CHOLIDIS chosen by PAUL SMITH A graduate of St. Martin's School, Ioannis Cholidis is a Greek menswear designer who inflects fine tailoring with active and sportswear accents. In 2006, he designed a line of Puma sneakers presented during London Fashion Week. In the same year he worked with Stella McCartney creating clothes for the UK band Coldplay. Thanks to his eclectic approach to fashion and his inventive take on colour for men, he was the protégé chosen by Sir Paul Smith -- the best loved of English designers -- to find a new way for men to enjoy Merino wool. 3. SANDRA BACKLUND chosen by FRANCA SOZZANI A 2004 graduate of Stockholm's Beckmans School of Design, Sandra Backlund is a tricot artist who assembles her knits by hand in three-dimensional, sculptural collages. Her style of working and the magic of her creations -- real works of art -- have earned her major awards (for example at the Hyères Festival International de Mode et de Photographie) and attracted the attention of the international press. Sandra was chosen by Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, for the Protégé Project: an ideal showcase for signalling, through Sandra's talent, the newest direction in knitwear.
Feb - Mar 08 Supplement
Apr - May 08