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Sports-luxe meets Merino wool in Tim Coppens’ latest collection

Renowned Belgian designer Tim Coppens, who has built his eponymous brand’s place amongst the top menswear collections, will launch his new collection COPPENS_MERINO at the third annual ComplexCon festival at Long Beach, California, November 3-4.

The six-piece, highly-shoppable, innovative outerwear collection uses Australian Merino wool as the core ingredient and was developed in collaboration with The Woolmark Company, the global authority on the fiber.

As one of the most exciting and relevant designers, Tom Coppens’ latest collection will be right at home at ComplexCon - a congregation of cool kids that brings together pop culture, music, art, food, style, sports, fashion, innovation, activism and education. The collection marks the first time Coppens has used a significant amount of the Merino wool in his collections and is the first luxe streetwear brand’s use of technical fabrication and innovation in the USA. The fiber provides the most versatile fabric for modern menswear, offering natural performance and luxury at the same time.

The collection blends the highest degree of craftsmanship and tailoring with athletic-inspired innovation. Each piece is meticulously crafted utilizing the newest Merino wool material innovations and garment construction techniques.

The inspiration of the Merino Wool outerwear series are six Tim Coppens archive pieces – Wool Great Coat, Technical Offshore Windbreaker, MA-1 Shell Bomber, NYPD Fire-coat, M-48 Parka, Letterman Jacket – which have been reinterpreted with Coppens’s signature material mixes and technical detailing.

With a resume boasting adidas and Under Armour, Coppens has been redefining the way we consume luxury sports-inspired apparel. For the Tim Coppens brand, tailoring is just as important as the trackpant, and so the designer continues to blend the two worlds, highlighted through the use of innovative, luxe, tech fibers and fabrics, such as Merino wool.

Coppens said working with the “diversity and luxe appeal of Merino wool” had been productive for him as a designer.

“The innovation and richness of Merino fitted perfectly with the DNA of my brand, and this project has been a way to combine my aesthetics with a selection of Merino wool innovations,” he said.

“For the series we use super dense traditional cavalry twill (used by the English military a century ago) for the very structured pieces; two and three Layer 120’s Merino wool for the windproof and water repellent styles, and Merino wool padding for all removable padded elements.

For Coppens, his favourite of the six pieces are the Parka and Windbreaker. For the Modular Parka, the Merino wool shell has been laminated to deliver water- and wind-proof membrane panels that are protected by soft-touch technical mesh. The modular architecture enables the garment to transform in three different ways, allowing the different functions of Merino wool used in each of the pieces to be added and removed. The raw 120’s Merino wool Thermal Protective Padding of the liner is incapsulated by a membrane covered in 120’s Merino wool on the outside and breathable ultra-light Merino wool woven inside.

The Windbreaker, inspired by an off-shore sailing jacket, is also water- and wind-proof thanks to the laminated Merino wool shell. The dynamic architecture of the panels, articulated sleeves and added elasticity of the Merino wool allows for greater freedom of movement. Superior warmth without weight has been achieved around the collar thanks to the use of a merino wool waffle grid fleece, as well as on the adjustable cuffs.

“The Merino wool materials that were used for each specific piece were sourced to include tradition and innovation - a combination that is visible in the quality of the material, and modernity of the silhouette of each piece.”

Managing Director of The Woolmark Company, Stuart McCullough, said the company was delighted to work with Coppens who has been on the forefront of redefining menswear.

“He has gained consistent recognition from the fashion industry since he established his label in 2011 and we are very pleased that he has chosen to work with Merino wool, a fiber that is being recognised for its versatility and naturally inherent style by the leading lights of the industry,” Mr McCullough said.

“While it’s clear that Coppens is inspired by the dynamic natural properties of Merino wool, it’s also instructive to see that he has utilized the latest textile technology and innovations to further enhance the fiber's inherent style.”

Some of the key Australian Merino wool innovations in the COPPENS_MERINO collection includes: a 120’s water-repellent three-layer Merino wool, 120’s Merino wool padding, 120’s Tech Merino wool waffle knit, 120’s ultra-light Merino wool shirting, 120’s Merino wool micro pile waffle knit, and a Merino wool double cavalry twill.

The Super S scheme is widely used when identifying the quality of fine tailoring, such as suiting. It's a credible scheme in identifying fine wool fabric and comprises a range of numbers ranging from Super 80’s to Super 250’s. The higher the “S” number, the finer and hence softer the wool. Coppens' use of 120's means his use of superfine wool is between 17.5 and 18 microns.

Coppens will launch the collection at ComplexCon in a futuristic, minimal boxing ring featuring translucent mannequins wearing the collection, which is sure to capture the imagination of the 50,000+ expected to attend the festival.

Lisa Griplas has more than ten years experience in the media and communications industry. A journalist by trade, she spent a number of years working at a daily newspaper before moving to The Woolmark Company to take up the role of Global Editor, a title she holds today.