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On-farm wool experience inspires Japanese designer + VIDEO

by Sheep Central, 06 December 2017

FACETASM founder and designer Hiromichi Ochiai. Picture – AWI.

A HANDS-ON experience with Australian wool-growing has inspired Japanese designer Hiromichi Ochiai to share the passion of the nation’s wool growers.

Australian Wool Innovation’s marketing arm, the Woolmark Company, has announced a two-season partnership with internationally renowned Japanese fashion label FACETASM.

Two wool-rich collections will be created for FACETASM’s Autumn/Winter 18/19 and Spring/Summer 19 seasons and both collections will be Woolmark-certified. This partnership furthers AWI’s marketing strategy in diversifying consumer choice in wool apparel.

Under the partnership, The Woolmark Company will work closely with FACETASM’s design team. The Woolmark Company’s sourcing guide, The Wool Lab, has already been integral in this partnership with the FACETASM design team drawing on the most innovative fabrics and yarns for the upcoming collections.

AWI chief executive officer and The Woolmark Company managing director Stuart McCullough said the partnership deepens the relationship between the Australian wool industry and Japan’s fashion industry, with FACETASM taking the two to a global audience via its extensive range of stockists.

To gain first-hand experience of the process of growing wool, FACETASM founder and designer Hiromichi Ochiai visited Victorian wool-growing properties ‘Wannawong’ and ‘Kalenea Poll Merino’.

The opportunity to meet wool growers Michael and Alexandra Kelso, Kevin and Marg Mibus and Ben and Megan Mibus, and to see the initial stages of the wool supply chain has given Ochiai invaluable insight and inspiration for his future collections.

“I saw how much the sheep farmers have loved the sheep, nature and their own land over generations,” said Ochiai of his visit to Australia.

Designer recognises love and history in wool

Wool broker Russell Macgugan showing Hiromichi Ochiai how to judge wool quality. Picture – AWI.

In Episode 23 of The Yarn podcast, Ochiai it was a precious experience to talk to farmers and experience how Merino wool is produced.

“Although so far, I had seen Merino wool only at the fabric stage, through this visit I learnt it is actually based on so much love and history.

“I would like to deliver the story behind Merino wool and incorporate this invaluable experience in my creations,” he said.

Since its launch in 2007, wool has been an integral part of FACETASM’s collections and through its unique, edgy designs the fashion label has garnered global praise. Each collection has highlighted the versatility of the fibre and its position as the premier ingredient in luxury apparel.

“Merino wool is an essential ingredient for the brand to move onto the next step in its creation,” Ochiai said.

“Collaboration with The Woolmark Company is a great opportunity for the brand.”

The Woolmark Company said Japan is an important market in terms of creativity and impeccable quality. The partnership with FACETASM and Hiromichi Ochiai’s role as global wool ambassador for Japan will further expand Merino wool’s legacy beyond traditional tailoring, the company said. The Woolmark Company and AWI said they aim to expose emerging consumer markets to Australian wool and broaden consumer choice in innovative wool garments through such partnerships.

Source: AWI.

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