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Beyond the Bale : Apr - May 08
20 GLOBAL TEXTILES BEYONDTHE BALE Wool warms the crowds at US promotion AWl gives Americans a glimpse of wool and where it comes from, to lift awareness of its natural qualities By Rebecca Thyer I t was a cold and wintry Australia Day in New York for champion shearer Shannon Warnest, and a day he will probably not forget. As part ofJanuary's 'G'Day USA' Australia Week and AWl's sponsorship of the 10-day event, the Australian champion demonstrated his shearing expertise live on early morning television shows. Despite his work being broadcast live to millions of Americans, stage fright was not a problem for Shannon: "It was all quite rushed;' he says. "The TV production people came over and said 'you're on in 15 seconds', so there was really no chance to get nervous." Shannon has shorn Merinos on a few occasions during G'Day USA - an event that profiles Australia to the US market - including in New York's Central Park, outside the CBS studios, and for 1300 people, including celebrities, buyers and designers, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. AWl's US product marketing manager Stuart McCullough says the shearing demonstrations have proved very popular during the G'Day USA events, with everyone wanting photos of Shannon and the sheep. "The demonstrations formed part of AWl's efforts to increase American consumers' knowledge, and therefore textile buyers' awareness, of Australian Merino;' Mr McCullough says. "The demonstrations give everyone a glimpse of the industry and they really drive home the message that so much of the wool in the world's woollen apparel comes from Australia." This year was the first time AWl has sponsored G'Day USA. As well as shearing demonstrations, the event included fashion parades showcasing garments made from Australian Merino by US and Australian designers; a trade-only event at the Australian Consul-General's residence to introduce the Merino Active symbol and discuss how AWl can assist US-based retailers and designers; and a gala dinner celebrating 200 years of our international wool trade. At a fashion showroom event, eight up-and-coming contemporary Australian fashion designers had the opportunity to meet with and showcase their collections - many pieces containing Australian Merino - to New York's fashion elite, including retail buyers from Barneys and Searle, fashion editors, stylists and agents. At all events AWl also presented past and current innovations and highlighted future directions and opportunities for Australian woolgrowers and Australian Merino wool. AWl's chief executive Craig Welsh says AWl aims to increase consumer recognition of Australian Merino wool as a brand associated with affordable quality and luxury. Collaborating with international and Australian fashion designers helps promote the Australian Merino fibre and its diversity, he says. "The fashion parade during G'Day USA showed some of the most innovative uses of the fibre by designers Thom Browne, Jayson Brunsdon and Giovanni Cavagna. And with innovative products and technologies we are furthering the value of Merino wool for our shareholders and the various businesses working with the fibre." 0 More information: www.merinoinnovation.com 'G'Day USA': Shannon Warn est shears a sheep in front of a New York crowd; supermodel Miranda Kerr; Shannon Warn est on the red carpet. The latest innovations in Australian Merino Wool on display at Japan Creation. Merino a natural in Japan T he Woolmark Company has just returned from a successful showing of Merino wool at the JFW Japan Creation - Tokyo's influential and comprehensive textile trade show. The JFW Japan Creation is a collaboration between Japan Creation and Japan Fashion Week in Tokyo that provides opportunities for worldwide buyers to explore high-value Japanese products reflecting the country's unique culture and aesthetics. Held at the Tokyo Big Site, JFW Japan Creation showcased high-quality textiles, cutting-edge technology and creative techniques with a focus on the autumn/winter 2008 season. One of the key highlights was the presentation of Merino wool by The Woolmark Company, which included the 200-year history of the Australian wool industry, an overview of seasonal Merino colour directions, and an insight into Merino's natural properties. The presentation by The Woolmark Company also included information about the integration of the company into AWl. Funded by Australian woolgrowers, AWl will invest in the revitalisation ofWoolmark brands, which are to be relaunched globally in 2008. AWl has been conducting various events to commemorate the 200-year history of the Australian wool industry this year in major wool-consuming markets around the globe. For Japan Creation, a timeline depicted the 200-year history of Australian Merino, while the presentation outlined the natural, biodegradable and sustainable properties of Merino. The Merino presentation also included a showcase of four stunning knitwear creations by Italian designer Giovanni Cavagna, as well as an introduction to colour directions for Merino in autumn/ winter 2008-09 and spring/summer 2009. 0 More information: www.japancreation.com/english
Feb - Mar 08
Jun - Jul 08 Supplement