The Woolmark Co. has turned to U.K. designer Timothy Everest to help get its message out for fall.
TheAustralia-based wool textile organization will take a prominentlocation at the upcoming Liberty Fair in Las Vegas next week to showcaseHemisphere, a capsule collection of eight contemporary men’s wearstyles and three women’s pieces created by Everest from merino wool.These include two looks in wool denim — a men’s one-piece suit that drewits inspiration from the boilersuits worn during the Bauhaus movement,and a three-quarter-length women’s culotte, paired with a bright yellowcowl-neck hand-knit wool sweater.
“The collaboration withWoolmark had us looking at creating a collection from wool and gettingpeople to be a little bit surprised about what you could do with wool,and how you can actually wear it,” Everest said. “Wool is the staple ofmy craft but I was interested in changing the perception in the way itcan be used by pushing the boundaries which has made this a fresh kindof project and one which I’ve enjoyed immensely.”
He said wool is“like the humble grape, in that depending on how you work with it, youcan achieve endless results. It can be spun or woven or finishedcreating a vast range of textures and finishes which are all completelydifferent to the other. I think the real challenge lay in taking some ofthe technical creations or concept fibers and applying them in acommercial context. I really had to stay very focused on the end brief:to show a more contemporary generation how cutting edge wool can bethrough a truly trans-seasonal and internationally focused casualcollection. I hope that in creating a considered range, I can introduce anew generation of fashion-conscious people to the benefits of wool foreveryday wear.”
Rob Langtry, global chief strategy and marketingofficer for Woolmark, said the company does “extensive global research”and realized it needed to create “a better connection to youngerconsumers.” He said the use of wool in suits and more tailored looks iswell established, “but we want to be more active in the contemporaryfield and show less obvious ways of using wool.”
This fall,Alexander Wang was tapped as an ambassador and was photographed by AnnieLeibovitz wearing a wool hoodie and standing next to a ram for aWoolmark ad campaign. The company has also worked with NarcisoRodriguez. The collaboration with Everest marks the first time acollection will be offered for sale to retailers. “This is the firsttime we’ve gone with a commercial collection,” Langtry said.
Hesaid Woolmark approached Everest because of the designer’s “strong woolknowledge” based on his “Savile Row background. He understandstailoring, but what he created in terms of silhouette, construction andfinishes are different. They’re relaxed but still high-quality.”
Hesaid collaborations such as these are necessary to “ensure a future forwool,” and Woolmark intends to continue to work with Everest, as wellas with other designers. “We expect to extend the program beyond this,but Tim is our star for this year,” Langtry said.
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