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Beyond the Bale : March 2014
Wool gets contemporary -- titled Hemisphere -- that takes wool out of its usual comfort zone and places it firmly at the centre of a modern, urban lifestyle. "The collaboration with AWI had us looking at creating a collection from wool and getting people to be a little bit surprised about what you could do with wool and how you can actually wear it," Everest said. "We wanted the collection to be internationally casual. It's for people who are living the urban life; they might be jumping on a bike, on the tube, could be on a plane. It's clothes for real people living a real life. "Wool's carving out a whole new future for itself. Exciting new innovations and a fresh approach make it the perfect lifestyle choice for today's international casual crowd." AWI and Everest launched the wool- based Hemisphere collection at the influential Liberty Fairs trade show in the USA. "Liberty Fairs for me was a huge success, with brands and retailers given a unique insight into how wool can be a contemporary and viable choice for their collections and customers," Everest said. "In having shown attendees the fibre within a finished fashion-forward collection, it made it easier for visitors to see and understand first-hand how contemporary wool can be not to mention its many applications. "The response was really exciting, with many of those who visited the exhibition stand thoroughly inspired about what wool could potentially offer them. Many of those in attendance were keen to connect FAST FACTS l AWI has launched a new program -- "Contemporary Fashion" -- to help increase the amount of wool worn by modern urban consumers. l As part of the program, AWI has collaborated with internationally renowned fashion designer Timothy Everest to create an innovative collection made from wool-based fabrics. l Both the new AWI program and Everest's collection made their debut at last month's Liberty Fairs trade show in the USA. The global apparel industry has experienced a trend towards casualisation, largely due to busy lifestyles, less formal workplaces and consumers' increasing desire for individualism. Consumers are looking for products that can easily adapt and change with their everyday needs. AWI has responded to this trend by developing a new "Contemporary Fashion" program to help increase the market share of wool worn by this emerging segment of consumers. AWI Contemporary Fashion category manager Kelly McAvoy said the program aims to create a platform that openly shares technical expertise and invites forward- thinking creative minds and progressive brands to work together and experiment with the potential of Merino wool. "We want to highlight wool as a fibre for the everyday. Merino wool is well-placed to resonate with the lifestyle choices of today's contemporary generation -- often placing greater expectations on the eco-credentials, integrity and authenticity in the products they buy," she said. "By modernising the rich heritage of wool, connecting the fibre with contemporary culture and demystifying preconceptions of wool, AWI addresses the global casual trend and has found a niche opportunity to bring wool to the street." As one of its first initiatives, the AWI program collaborated with internationally renowned fashion designer Timothy Everest to design a new 11-piece collection further with AWI to see how they could also directly benefit from both a sourcing and support aspect. I was overall very impressed with the calibre of visitors to the event, ranging from a global press core to leading retailers and brands." More information: www.merino.com/contemporary March 2014 BEYOND THE BALE 13 OFF-FARM Items from Timothy Everest's urban, wool-based collection, Hemisphere. Internationally renowned fashion designer Timothy Everest during a visit to Australia. Timothy Everest at the launch of his Hemisphere collection at the Liberty Fairs trade show.