Paris and Tokyo can seem world’s away from the sheep paddocks of Australia, but all three came together in January when Japanese label FACETASM unveiled at Paris Fashion Week a wool-rich Woolmark-certified collection inspired by Australian Merino sheep, the fibre they produce and the woolgrowers that look after them.
The Autumn/Winter 2018 collection of FACETASM is a result of a two-season partnership with AWI’s marketing arm, The Woolmark Company.
The collaboration has seen The Woolmark Company work closely with FACETASM's design team, showcasing to them The Wool Lab sourcing guide so that the designers can draw on the most innovative wool fabrics and yarns for their collections.
“This 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,” AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said.
“Japan is an important market for Australian wool; 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.
“Through partnerships like this one, AWI aims to provide a broader consumer choice in innovative wool garments.”
To gain first-hand experience of the process of growing wool, FACETASM founder and designer Hiromichi Ochiai travelled to Australia in November and visited wool-growing properties 'Wannawong' and 'Kalenea Poll Merino' in Victoria.
The opportunity to meet woolgrowers Michael and Alexandra Kelso, Kevin and Marg Mibus and Ben and Megan Mibus, and to see the initial stages of the wool supply chain gave Ochiai invaluable insight and inspiration for his collections.
“I saw how much the sheep farmers have loved the sheep, nature and their own land over generations,” said Ochiai.
“It was such a precious experience for me to actually 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.
“Merino wool is an essential ingredient for the brand to move onto the next step in its creations,” added Ochiai.
“Collaboration with The Woolmark Company is a great opportunity for the brand.”
The two-season partnership will also see The Woolmark Company partner with FACETASM for its Spring/Summer 2019 offering.
Hear more about Hiromichi Ochiai’s visit to Australian wool-growing properties in Episode 23 of AWI’s The Yarn podcast.