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Beyond the Bale : March 2013
11 OFF-FARM March 2013 BEYOND THE BALE With the average daytime temperature hovering around 25°C in winter, and the mercury soaring to a scorching 45°C in summer, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at one point in time, might have seemed an unlikely place for the launch of a campaign about wool. However, consumers in the hotter regions of the world have become the initial target to be educated about the natural performance benefits that Merino fabrics can offer. AWI continues to showcase the trans-seasonal properties of wool; the company last year also introduced tougher specifications as to what constitutes a lightweight Cool Wool fabric. After AWI's successful trade launch of the Cool Wool program last year at the Première Vision trade show in Paris, the consumer launch in December involving a media and retail event at Dubai Mall -- the world's largest shopping mall -- was greatly anticipated. The launch did not disappoint. AWI Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Robert Langtry said the response to the campaign by consumers in the Middle East had been very satisfying. "It is very pleasing to see Cool Wool fabrics being offered to the tailoring and consumer markets, to extend the wool selling period for both national and western dress in the UAE, at a time when many are seeking assurances about the origin and provenance of premium-priced fashion," Mr Langtry said. "Custom and personal tailoring allows discerning consumers a far greater choice in the essential part of a garment: the fabric. "Lighter-weight fabrics in the Cool Wool collections of Europe's leading weavers offer a superb alternative to less eco- friendly fibres often chosen for the warmer months in the Gulf. "Cool Wool fabrics for dishdash or formal suits and jackets have proven thermal management qualities, superior for next-to-skin comfort than other fibres traditionally selected for spring and summer." Point of sale marketing material has been distributed throughout the Middle East via a network of agents and tailors, ensuring consumers can associate the media campaign with fabrics they purchase from bespoke tailors for their suits and dishdash. Consumers visiting the Cool Wool stand in Dubai Mall found the lightness and softness of the fabrics different to what they imagined wool to represent, and they were intrigued that wool did not crease when crushed or crumpled. The event featured models wearing the tailored suit and dishdash from the advertising campaign, along with working tailors who demonstrated the craftsmanship involved in tailoring a garment. A competition was arranged over the two days to win a bespoke garment of choice, with the winner choosing to have a bespoke dishdash tailored in a fabric selected from the Cool Wool Guild of weavers. The winner commented, "I was amazed at the softness and lightness of the Cool Wool fabrics on display; the fabrics didn't crease which is important when you want to look good all day long. I was not aware wool could be so light and keep you cool, and has so many natural properties that allow FAST FACTS l AWI has launched its Cool Wool consumer campaign in the Middle East with the aim to extend the traditional wool buying season. l The campaign focuses on educating consumers about the natural performance benefits of lightweight Merino fabrics. l Members of a Cool Wool Guild provided fabrics through their Middle East agents to tailors who offer the traditional dishdash and western suits. it to be Cool Wool. I am pleased to have won the competition and look forward to wearing my Cool Wool dishdash." The Cool Wool weavers supporting the program in the Middle East and globally are: Alfred Brown, Dormeuil, Hield Brothers, Bower Roebuck, Charles Clayton, Bulmer & Lumb Group, Holland & Sherry, Ipekis, Yunsa, REDA, William Halstead, Savile Clifford, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Joseph H Clissold, Fratelli Tallia Di Delfino, John Foster and Johnstons of Elgin. The consumer campaign -- for menswear and womenswear -- is now being rolled out globally for this year's northern hemisphere spring, in leading media titles and websites. More information: www.coolwool.com www.woolmark.com/innovations/cool-wool Wool cools the Middle East Models at the Cool Wool launch at Dubai Mall wearing a traditional western suit and Middle East dishdash made from Cool Wool.