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Beyond the Bale : June 2014
June 2014 BEYOND THE BALE 15 OFF-FARM An increasing opportunity for wool exists in Turkey, not only thanks to the country's strong manufacturing industry, but also because it boasts a potential luxury market size of 19 million consumers. Turkey's growing domestic market is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and the country's geographical location sits perfectly at the crossroads between east and west overlapping Asian and European markets. AWI has been working hard in the country to promote Australian wool in manufacturing and consumer markets. Last month AWI brought together British fashion designer Antonio Berardi, famed fashion writer and historian Colin McDowell and world- famous fashion stylist Sophia Neophitou to discuss designs, trends and the importance of Merino wool at the 7th Annual Turkish Clothing Manufacturers Association (TGSD) Fashion Conference held in Istanbul. To show his appreciation for the finest of luxury fabrics, Antonio Berardi has joined with AWI to advocate the use of Merino wool fibre. In his speech Mr Berardi emphasised the natural benefits of wool, reflecting femininity and a sense of quality in womenswear. "Merino wool has always been a firm favourite of mine, as it caresses the body, is amazing to tailor and has all the attributes and built-in modern technology of 21st Century fabrications, but remains 100 per cent natural," Mr Berardi said. "It is perhaps the fabric that defines the times, and was the perfect way for me to talk about my work at the 7th Annual Istanbul Fashion Conference. The cradle of civilisation is embracing manufacturing on a global scale, and it was wonderful to be a part of it." Antonio Berardi Creative Director Sophia Neophitou said she found the fashion conference to be an "enlightening" and "inspiring" experience. She discussed the fibre's inherent benefits, highlighting its versatility in being able to be fashioned into lightweight fabrics. "Merino wool has seemed to fulfil this ever-increasing need from the customer for lighter-weight wool options, especially in womenswear," she said. "I look forward to seeing the design innovations that this material will facilitate from all designers in the future." More information: www.woolmark.com Fashion stylist Sophia Neophitou, British designer Antonio Berardi and fashion commentator and historian Colin McDowell discuss the benefits of Merino wool at the 7th Annual Turkish Clothing Manufacturers Association Fashion Conference, supported by AWI. Let's talk Turkey FAST FACTS l Turkey is a significant manufacturing market with growing importance for retail. l The textile and apparel sector is the highest exporting sector for the country's economy. l Last month AWI brought together a panel at the 7th Annual Turkish Clothing Manufacturers Association (TGSD) Fashion Conference to discuss designs, trends and the importance of Merino wool. Hawkes, the great quality of our design and excellent craftsmanship of our tailoring, we today must also highlight the very high standards of the materials that we use. Woolmark Gold represents the best and finest of Australian Merino wool which is why we have included this in our collection." Woolmark Gold sets a global benchmark for fine tailoring, a standard shared by Gieves & Hawkes, a company that has prided itself on uncompromising standards of both material and manufacture for more than 200 years. NEW PARTNERSHIPS AWI led by Mr Langtry led a busy schedule of meetings at CHIC, with national and provincial government organisations and large-scale premium retail, brand and manufacturing companies, including the senior management of companies such as Dalian Trands, Yeliya and Red Collar of Qingdao which are among the world's largest business suit manufacturers. These meetings were designed to introduce AWI's innovations and support services, as well as understand the demand cycle and business needs at the premium end of the China domestic apparel market. Following meetings between the General Manager Lin Ruowen of Chinese babywear company Labi and Mr Langtry, an announcement was made that Labi would develop and introduce a premium range of Australian Merino wool babywear to the Chinese market. This leading Chinese babywear producer and brand has more than 800 retail stores across China. AWI will support Labi with advice on production, new product development and the development of a marketing strategy for their new range of babywear, which will be launched by mid-2014. "Labi is a very successful company in China and we are very happy to welcome them as a new Woolmark partner in China," Mr Langtry said. An agreement was also reached with luxury menswear retailer AutaSon, which has more than 110 retail stores. An expansive promotion of Woolmark Gold will be implemented from August 2014 incorporating retail promotions, digital, social and print media. Leading fashion brand and retailer Shan Shan has also committed to a long term partnership to promote Australian Merino wool across its 1500 retail stores in China, to be implemented from September 2014. More information: www.woolmark.com