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Beyond the Bale : March 2014
9. ffiXXed's fashion forward capsule collection uses wool in a very modern way. ffiXXed representing Asia 9 10. ffiXXed is a ready-to-wear fashion label based in Hong Kong initiated by design duo Kain Picken and Fiona Lau. (www.ffixxed.com) 10 To achieve its mission of increasing the global demand for Australian wool, it is vital for AWI to reinforce the presence of Australian Merino wool in the international fashion industry. The involvement of the world's leading fashion designers with Australian Merino wool is extremely important because of their enormous influence in setting global trends for the mainstream retail brands. What we see on the world's catwalks this year quickly makes it into the mainstream fashion sector. The broader fashion industry looks to designers for the latest trends. Their work with fabrics like Australian Merino wool has a 'trickle down' effect which cannot be underestimated. The International Woolmark Prize is the "jewel" in AWI's fashion promotion activities. It is designed to generate long term incremental demand by connecting emerging designers, emerging markets and consumers. It is an award for the next generation, shifting the focus from glamour to true talent as a way to highlight the beauty of the Merino wool fibre at the hands of the future leaders of the industry. New demand will come from the creation of increased knowledge of and lifetime loyalty to wool amongst designers, along with the immediate presence of Woolmark-branded Merino wool collections in the top boutiques and retailers across the globe. This program gives AWI the opportunity to work at three levels in the fashion apparel segment: • At the jury level, there is the engagement with an alumnus of the world's leading influencers of fashion, all of whom have a shared and stated interest in the development of new talent and new markets. • At the participant (and winner) levels, AWI imbues them with knowledge of wool fibre at an early stage in the commercial development and works with them to create a connection to wool which will stay with them throughout their careers. • At a broader global fashion apparel audience level, through the creation of "documentary" style content distributed through digital and broadcast media. Why AWI invests in leading fashion 7. Christopher Esber's collection utilises innovative wool product developments in the form of deconstructed suiting. 8. Since the brand's inception, the Sydney designer has received strong media support and won several industry accolades. (www.christopheresber.com.au) 8 7 Christopher Esber representing Australia 7 March 2014 BEYOND THE BALE