The Agreement was signed during the Australia China Business Council (ACBC)'s "Thinking Big" Australia China Entrepreneur Dialogue forum held in Sydney today. This is the first Chinese business group visit to Australia after the Chinese President and Australian Prime Minister announced the formalisation of a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. The Chinese delegation consists of more than 20 successful business leaders from various industries.
That the two groups were able to sign the collaboration agreement at this function makes it both historic and significant. Eve will use the Woolmark Gold branding on their suits made from fabric supplied by a number of Woolmark Gold exclusive licensed weaving companies in Europe (the Woolmark Gold guild) - including Vitale Barberis Canonico, Reda, Dormeuil, Scabal - in offerings through their premium stores branded Kevin Kelly. They also have a made-to-order suit service. This will represent a growth opportunity for Australian superfine wool in China.
At the function Rob Langtry, Global Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer with Woolmark stated: "China has long been the Australian wool industry's dominant manufacturing partner, with over 70 per cent of our greasy wool being converted into top and yarn in China for the past few decades. In recent years this relationship has evolved. With the increase in Chinese living standards, the Chinese consumer now has the income, the climate and the aspiration to consume half that wool as end products. With the Governments of China and Australia having now finalised a Free Trade Agreement we expect that trend to accelerate."
Mr Langtry went on to say: "Over the past 20 years we have seen Chinese companies enter and begin to develop the market for luxury apparel in China. The Eve Group was founded in 1994 with its business scope involving clothing, living aesthetics, gifts, cultural and creative and many other fields. Eve Group owns high-ranking men fashion brands, such as EVE de UOMO, EVE de CINA, Kevin Kelly, NOTTING HILL, JAQUES PRITT etc., and is the agent for Versace, Kenzo, Fendi and other famous international brands. Woolmark International is proud to be signing a Marketing Cooperation Agreement with Eve. This collaborative effort will, we believe, accelerate the understanding, acceptance and sale of high quality fashion made from Australian Merino wool through Eve's very strong network of 535 boutiques across China. We wish Eve Group all the best and stand ready to help them grow the demand for quality wool apparel."