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Merino wool walks Aussie catwalk
May '08
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) showcased Australian Merino wool during Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, in Sydney from 28 April–2 May.

This year, AWI presented the work of the up-and-coming designers involved in its Protégé Project – Kristian Aadnevik, Sandra Backlund, Jean-Pierre Braganza, Ioannis Cholidis, and Julian Louie.

The young international designers expressed their talents through collections created with Australian Merino wool fabrics and yarns, placing the fibre front and centre of emerging fashion.

“The good thing about fashion week is you're [able to target] the leaders in the industry and talk about the future,” said AWI Chief Executive, Craig Welsh.

Launched in June 2007, the Protégés have been selected and mentored by fashion luminaries Donatella Versace; Karl Lagerfeld; Sir Paul Smith; the Editor-in-Chief of Italian Vogue, Franca Sozzani; and Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein.

As part of the show, an Australian Protégé was announced as part of the Project. Recent winner of the L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) Designer Award, Ben Pollitt, presented his showcase alongside the other Protégés to critical acclaim.

26 year old Pollitt was selected by Vogue Australia editor, Kristy Clements, to be the Australian Protégé. This was his second opportunity to showcase his work at Fashion Week, after he presented his label, Friedrich Gray, in his own show the previous night.

AWI's Craig Welsh believes that fostering fresh talent like the designers on show at Australian Fashion Week will play a vital role in ensuring the future of Australian Merino wool.

“It's all about educating the next generation of the world's best designers about the benefits of Australian Merino wool,” he said.

He also added that Merino wool's green credentials were having an effect on designer's enthusiasm to work with the fibre.

“We have outstanding environmental credibility. In an increasingly green environment, Merino is the new black.”

Wool Is Best

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