The Wool Lab SS15 presents seven inspiring trends for the upcoming season.
The Woolmark Company's presence at CHIC will be its biggest ever, and is a reflection of the global authority on wool's commitment to the Chinese market, government bodies and the ventures implemented by the China National Textile and Apparel Council.
"Not very long ago the premium and luxury garments market here was all about prestigious labels," explains The Woolmark Company's Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Rob Langtry. "But Chinese consumers are now showing a real interest in ingredient branding. That means not just the garment itself and the style of it, but the story behind it - how the fabric is made, where the fibre comes from, and what makes it special. And when it comes to all those things, nobody has a better story to tell than Australian Merino wool."
About 83 per cent of all Australian Merino wool that is produced is exported to China. Traditionally, the vast majority of this wool was processed. Yet today around 32 per cent of Australian Merino wool stays in the Chinese market. Chinese consumers and textile companies are becoming increasingly aware of the fibre's natural inherent benefits.
Because of its extraordinary softness and exceptional performance, the use of Australian Merino wool has long been a key selling point for leading British and European menswear and womenswear brands, such as Gieves & Hawkes and Cerruti. However, some major Chinese brands are now entering the market and are starting to tell the Merino wool story. Youngor, one of China's largest fashion retailers, ran a joint Australian Merino wool promotion with The Woolmark Company and within a few months was reporting a 20 per cent increase in all wool sales in participating stores.
At CHIC, The Woolmark Company will exhibit how it ran the joint promotion with Youngor, including the online education program developed for retail staff to educate consumers about the natural, renewable and biodegradable benefits of Australian Merino wool. The Woolmark Company wishes to further engage with leading Chinese garment brands present at CHIC and expand on the type of co-operation achieved with Youngor.
The Woolmark Company will also present its latest edition of The Wool Lab, dedicated to the upcoming spring/summer 2015 season. A seasonal guide to the most inspiring wool trends and best products, The Wool Lab is created to inspire and inform fashion professionals regarding the infinite potential of Merino wool. The tool is the result of extensive research undertaken by The Woolmark Company through its global network to select the best wool products worldwide and identify the emerging trends emerging from fashion, design, art, pop culture, music and other fields. Seven inspirational themes are presented in The Wool Lab SS15.
Visitors to The Woolmark Company stand will also get the chance to see fabrics from the exclusive Woolmark Gold range, which made its debut in China last year, and has been described as the world's first international gold standard of fabric for fine tailoring. To qualify for Woolmark Gold status, a fabric must not only be made of Australian Merino wool with a width of 19 microns or less, but must also adhere to strict manufacturing criteria which only a small number of weaving companies can meet. The Woolmark Company will introduce the benefits of Woolmark Gold to leading Chinese luxury menswear brands and is currently in discussions with a view to appointing the first Chinese menswear brand as a Woolmark Gold brand partner.
Woolmark Gold is positioned for consumers and emerging designers as a premium brand to "Aspire, Achieve and Appreciate" the superior, natural qualities of the Merino wool fibre.
"This is a very exciting time for Australian Merino wool in China," said Mr Langtry. "Our increased presence at CHIC 2014 shows how committed we are to this market, and reflects how confidant we are about the future. I would urge all our present and future partners to make a visit to our fantastic new stand a priority, and I look forward to welcoming them personally."
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