Australian woolgrower Murray Picker shows a superfine Merino fleece to UNITED ARROWS senior PR manager Mr Daisuke Kawahigashi (L) and The Woolmark Company Country Manager Japan Toshiya Inoue at the Pickers' family property 'Hillcreston' in Bigga, New South Wales, during the recent farm visit.
(PHOTO: Ray Strange / Newspix).
The two-year partnership symbolises a unique venture between the two high-profile companies, uniting to raise awareness of wool's infinite potential and raise the profile of Merino wool as a luxurious fibre.
UNITED ARROWS is the fastest-growing top-tier retailer in Japan, and with 38 stores across the country plus digital channels, the retailer's plan to place a greater emphasis on Merino wool is a welcome decision.
Not only does UNITED ARROWS trust the natural, biodegradable and renewable fibre, it plans to trace the fibre right back to its source. A delegation from UNITED ARROWS embarked on a provenance research tour and met with Australian woolgrowers in September to help source the most appropriate Merino wool for the retailer's apparel range.
"Wool items will be widely highlighted at UNITED ARROWS for the 2013/14 Autumn/Winter season," UNITED ARROWS Senior Executive Officer Naoki Ota said.
"We visited Australia in September to discover the natural origin of Merino wool, and we are planning to develop promotional activities which tell the benefits and the high level of quality of wool products to Japanese consumers."
In-store promotions across UNITED ARROWS' 38 stores, which start on October 15, will highlight the collaboration as well as wool's inherent benefits, and advertising in two high-profile Japanese publications will be released during October to further promote this. Customers who purchase wool items over 10,000JPY during the in-store promotional campaign will also receive a UA Knitted Cap (limited number available).
The retailer will also turn to online and social media networks to emphasise the story between UNITED ARROWS and wool, including a short film hosted on the retailer’s website NiCE UA (from October 15) detailing how wool is grown in Australia and then the process the fibre undergoes before it reaches a customer’s hands.
The Woolmark Company’s Merino Wool. No Finer FeelingTM campaign aims to inform a new generation of consumers - and the fashion community - about the natural attributes and benefits of Merino wool. The campaign establishes Merino wool as the fibre of choice for fine, contemporary fashion and the new venture with UNITED ARROWS will raise wool's profile within the Japanese market.
"The Woolmark Company is proud to be partnering with UNITED ARROWS, sharing the rich history and provenance stories of Australian Merino wool with a country that places great respect on history and tradition," explains The Woolmark Company CEO Stuart McCullough. "We hope that the collaboration allows Japanese consumers to enjoy the modern beauty and versatility of Merino wool."
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