Brothers in arms

2 April 2012

Wool-growing family, the Taylors, from ‘Winton’ Tasmania, have a lot to be proud of. Not only were their family one of the founding families of the Australian wool industry, but they also have their wool made into apparel by renowned American retailer Brooks Brothers.

Having been in the business for more than 175 years the Taylor family pioneered the Saxon Merino in Australia, with the original flock hand-picked from Saxony in Europe. Today, the modern-day Taylors still farm pure-bred Saxons with absolute passion, knowledge and love for the fibre.

John and Vera Taylor’s son John is a sixth generation woolgrower who appreciates knowing that their Saxon Merino fibre is destined for high-quality apparel sold around the world.

“Brooks Brothers sources pure Saxon wool from a small group of growers which sells through the Escorial Company,” Mr Taylor said. “‘Winton’ is the only Tasmanian contributor from this small and select group.”

The beauty of knowing exactly who picks up your clip allows the woolgrowers to be part of the entire production pipeline and follow their fibre right through to the end product.
“This is certainly a story of wool production from start to finish,” Mr Taylor said.

Founded in 1818, Brooks Brothers has an enviable reputation, being the oldest men’s clothing chains in the USA. The company has more than 200 Brooks Brothers’ stores in the USA and 70 in other countries.

Brooks Brothers Chief Merchandising Officer Lou Amendola said the retail company has a special agreement with the Saxon growers to market Saxon products worldwide exclusively with the SaxXonTM brand.

“Brooks Brothers uses Saxon wool as it is a unique fibre from a special breed of sheep,” Mr Amendola said. “The items produced are luxurious to touch, light in weight for its relative bulk, and have great natural wrinkle recovery. We have experienced a strong response from our customers who appreciate these qualities.”

In December, Brooks Brothers placed a high profile eight-page advertorial, in conjunction with the Woolmark brand, in Esquire magazine promoting the use of Saxon Merino in the Brooks Brothers’ clothing line. Mr Amendola praised this recent campaign, hailing it a “great success”.

“It allowed Brooks Brothers’ to speak directly to consumers about our passion and commitment towards wool products,” Mr Amendola said. “The well-received magazine insert gave us the opportunity to speak about the many ways we are using wool in our apparel and accessories and how to incorporate them into a fashionable wardrobe.”

The Woolamark Company country manager for the Americas Sonny Puryear said in addition to this eight-page magazine feature, a retail promotion was held in one the Manhattan stores to endorse the Woolmark brand and Saxon Merino in Brooks Brothers’ clothing.

“Hundreds of shoppers attended this special New York City event,” Mr Puryear said. “And across America the Woolmark logo was displayed in every Brooks Brothers store. There were also eight in-store training sessions educating sales staff about the benefits and characteristics of Merino as well as a farm-to-fashion overview. All shops that received the seminar were greatly appreciative and the staff expressed excitement at learning many new things.

“This nationwide promotion was the result of a solid and ongoing relationship between The Woolmark Company and Brooks Brothers. They are one of the largest USA users of Merino and this project is typical of our efforts to promote Merino wool.”