GQ UK: Fleece Academy

11 September 2013

With London firmly cementing its place as the home of menswear, high-profile men’s fashion magazine GQ UK is celebrating Merino wool in this lucrative market, with a special six-page feature paying homage to the noble fibre in the magazine’s October edition.


Pages from the ‘GQ UK’ edition promoting Merino wool
Pages from the ‘GQ UK’ edition promoting Merino wool. Click here to visit the GQ microsite.

Titled Fleece Academy, the feature collaborates with more than 15 internationally acclaimed fashion designers, some of whom also support The Woolmark Company’s Cool Wool campaign.

E. Tautz, Jonathan Saunders, Richard Nicoll, Lou Dalton and Christopher Raeburn all recently presented their Spring Summer 2014 range at London Collections: Men, which had a strong focus on Cool Wool lightweight fabrics. Here, they return to endorse Merino wool alongside fashion heavyweights including Z Zegna, Paul Smith, Christian Lacroix and Johnstons of Elgin for the Fleece Academy.

With five stunning images against the backdrop of two English mills, the images offer readers an insight into the woollen fibre and a garment’s origins. The photos depict autumn layering of key Merino wool pieces, expressing the versatility of the fibre from knitwear to fine tailoring, and from softness to performance coatings and accessories.

Shot on location at Spectrum Yarns and Taylor & Lodge in Huddersfield, the collaborative campaign has a strong focus on education, as well as an emphasis on the grassroots of a garment. As the GQ feature explains:

“When versatility, quality and performance are needed, fashion brands buy Merino wool…from farms that have stayed in the same family for more than 100 years. Human values, as much as climate and terrain, are the foundations of these industries, and Merino wool provides the staple ingredient for the global fashion arena.”

It is promotional pieces such as this which play a crucial role in educating a new generation about wool’s inherent properties, as well as help place the fibre as the fabric of choice for contemporary fashion. Having internationally acclaimed designers endorse Merino wool builds on the reputation that The Woolmark Company and the Woolmark brand have been working to achieve and ultimately see the demand for wool increase in premium markets.

With consumers becoming more and more concerned with provenance stories as well the eco-credentials of a fibre, it is important to continue to spread wool’s message in these markets.

GQ highlights the fact that Merino wool is a fully renewable fibre source, stating that as long as “the grass grows, the rain falls and the sun shines”, wool will continue to be produced and Australia will remain at the forefront of the supply chain.

It also highlights that wool is ideal for creating richly coloured fabrics, is adaptable to innovation and has unique softness and performance attributes.

“Whether it’s next-to-skin garments, fine tailoring or robust outerwear, Merino wool is the designer’s choice.”

GQ has built a microsite to host Fleece Academy, which includes video footage offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes look, interviews with the deisgners and profiles, along with an animated sheep-to-shop journey. UK residents also have the chance to win a Richard Nicoll jumper or one of 200 lightweight Merino wool pocket sqaures - which are on trend for the upcoming Autumn/Winter season. Click here to visit the microsite.