After first bursting onto the scene at London Fashion Week in 2010, Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton have impressed the menswear fashion industry with their relaxed style and use of prints.
The 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize menswear finalists are not only making a name for themselves at home, but have also enjoyed success in key Asian markets. After presenting to an illustrious judging panel earlier this year at the International Woolmark Prize menswear final, they caught the eye of Japanese retail giant Isetan, who bought more than 50 pieces from their International Woolmark Prize collection along with a number of looks from their main Autumn/Winter line.
“Although Asia is slowly becoming our largest market, if it wasn’t for the Woolmark prize, I’m not sure we would have been stocked with Isetan so soon,” explains Mdumulla. “The Woolmark Company has been incredible in supporting this collaboration, and the Tokyo office really went over and above in helping us curate the event with Isetan, along with meetings and trunk shows with important members of the press, buyers, suppliers and also distributors. We have realised how important it is to be there in person, and this has inspired us to ensure that we visit Japan at least once a year in order to build on this. For us this is only the beginning of Agi & Sam’s growth, and there is absolutely no way we could have achieved that so soon without the help of Woolmark.”
The wool-rich collection launched into Isetan in style, helping the city of Tokyo kick-start its Wool Week celebrations in support of The Campaign for Wool. The collection, comprising a number of coats, jackets, trousers and knitwear pieces showcases the innate versatility of wool and references traditional 18th Century military uniforms whilst modernising them into a contemporary silhouette
“We have always admired Isetan, always considering it to be the most important department store in Japan. However, we did not actually realise quite how influential and important it actually was until we visited last week.
“Seeing our brand there has made us feel extremely privileged and proud to be recognised as a brand of Isetan’s calibre. This is so important for us because Isetan’s influence is so large that this is definitely the best start in which to grow our business in Japan.”
Agi & Sam send its International Woolmark Prize collection down the runway at the global finals in Florence earlier this year.