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Beyond the Bale : September 2013
7 September 2013 BEYOND THE BALE OFF-FARM Renowned American fashion photo- blogger Scott Schuman was a guest of AWI in Sydney in July as a judge of the Australia regional final of the International Woolmark Prize. Scott is famous for creating The Sartorialist fashion photo-blog in 2005 with the idea of creating a two-way dialogue with its readers about the world of style and its relationship to daily life. Scott photographs people he sees “on the street” whose style he finds striking and then posts the photos to the blog. He has redefined street-style fashion, photo blogging and the use of mixing social media with a savvy sense of business acumen. Beyond the Bale caught up with Scott who was looking forward to the judging of the International Woolmark Prize regional final. “I always really love working with young designers, young talented people, and seeing how they take something as basic as wool to life and figuring out how to use their creativity, whether it’s their artistic creativity or technology, to reimagine wool in a new way,” Scott told us. “So the thing I’m looking forward to the most is seeing creative minds at work when they’re given as much freedom as Woolmark has given them in this contest.” Scott said he thinks social media is influencing fashion, and society, in new, positive ways. “I think that social media has given people a chance to see the fashion from the runway on real people, not just models in a magazine. It gives them a chance to imagine fashion on more than a size two 18-year-old model. “Social media has totally changed the way people live their life both locally and globally. People now feel more connected to global tribes of like-minded people, than necessarily being chained to their physical space in which they live. “I think it’s had a chance to bring people together and, depending on what their likes and loves are, to not feel so alone on the planet.” More information: www.thesartorialist.com AWI continues to boost its use of social media to help reconnect a new generation of consumers with the natural wonders of wool. The company is helping drive the agenda for wool on Facebook and other social platforms such as Twitter and YouTube to generate positive online conversation about wool. Of note, AWI’s “We Love Wool” page on Facebook more than doubled its fan base over the past year to more than 386,000 fans. The Woolmark pages on Facebook had similar results, increasing the number of fans on Facebook to 205,000 fans. In total, our “social community” on Facebook increased by 80 per cent from the start of the 2012/13 financial year to 591,000 by the end of the year. The content we released through our communities reached over 150 million people online. This reach is created when our audience interacts with our content and it is seen by their friends. AWI also uploads videos – on subjects across the whole of the wool pipeline – onto the company’s YouTube video sharing channel which has received more than one million views. Our social media presence also includes Twitter and has recently extended to Instagram and Pinterest (online photo-sharing services). Social media extends wool’s reach Scott Schuman (right) with Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Australia, Edwina McCann (left) and AWI Fashion Communications Manager, Melissa Grace (centre), examining a design of Christopher Esber during the judging of the Australia regional final of the International Woolmark Prize. FAST FACTS l Scott Schuman, aka The Sartorialist, who pioneered fashion photography in blog form, was one of the judges of the Australia regional final of the International Woolmark Prize. l Scott says social media has given people a chance to see fashion from the catwalk on “real people”, not just models in a magazine. l AWI continues to boost its use of social media to help reconnect a new generation of consumers with the natural wonders of wool.