Even though the Campaign For Wool first began back in 2010, the Italians - in their inimitable manner - did things in their own time. And, typically, they made sure to do it with the greatest of style and flair.
"Italian weavers and spinners are renowned across the world for the quality of their wool production."
HRH The Prince of Wales
The nation's first foray into Wool Week in 2013 was a doozy, beginning with an unprecedented takeover of the hallowed La Rinascente department store. All eight windows fronting the Duomo of Milan - which see a million passers-by each day - were transformed into a major art project directed by fashion visionary Angelo Figus and produced by students from Italy's most prestigious fashion schools using fabrics and yarns from the finest Italian textile companies. Video installations, theatrical settings and one-off couture creations told the story of Merino wool.
To drive the message home, a 100 metre grass paddock was built in front of La Rinascente where 50 sheep grazed in the heart of Milan, showcasing the natural, renewable origins of the fibre.
If that weren't extravagant enough, the historical Galleria del Vittorio Emanuele II, a grand landmark adjoining the Duomo was the setting for a spectacular fashion show in association with the textile trade fair Milano Unica. With a Merino adorned runway constructed especially for the occasion, the presentation was open to the residents of Milan who were welcomed with a video greeting by HRH the Prince of Wales, the patron for the Campaign For Wool.
On the runway, seven international designers showcased wool collections, bringing creative input from all corners of the globe: J.JS Lee (South Korea), Yang Li (China), Tillmann Lauterbach (France), From Britten P/L (Australia), Isa Arfen (UK), Ostwald Helgason (UK) and Andrea Pompilio (Italy).
Once the lights went down on the catwalk, the high flyers of the textile and wool industries came together to toast the occasion at a cocktail party in the stunning 16th century Palazzo Marino… it was still only day one and Wool Week had only just begun. Over the course of the days to come, more than four million people would pass by the La Rinascente installation as Merino wool took over the most stylish city in Italy.
Wool available all year round for every woman’s wardrobe
Town goes country for the UK’s Wool Week celebrations