Franca Sozzani - Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia and L'Uomo Vogue and UN Ambassador of Goodwill; Stuart McCullough - Managing Director The Woolmark Company; Edwina McCann - Editor-in-Chief Vogue Australia; Andrew Stoner - NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment. All Photos: Lucas Dawson Photography.
The Editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue, editorial director of Condé Nast Italia and UN Ambassador of Goodwill was in Sydney to officially launch the March edition of L’Uomo Vogue, which was dedicated to Australian heritage and A-list personalities. With international film director Baz Luhrmann and Oscar award winner Cate Blanchett featuring on separate covers, the edition, titled Powerful Australia, also explains the role in which Australian Merino wool plays in the high-end fashion which ends up on catwalks and retailers across the world. The March edition also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Woolmark logo and brand.
“The L'Uomo Vogue Australian issue is a testament to Australian resolve,” said Managing Director of The Woolmark Company Stuart McCullough.
“Despite the disadvantages we face in geography and through our relatively small population, we enjoy global success based on sheer determination, ingenuity and a passion to go above and beyond. That is certainly the attitude reflected across the country amongst our woolgrowers, and they can be proud of this international acclaim.”
Under the creative direction of Mrs Sozzani a special collaboration between L’Uomo Vogue and The Woolmark Company was also announced, which celebrates both style and Australian talent. The collaboration, called World Wide Wool, honours the historic connection between the Italian fashion industry and the 50,000+ woolgrowers of Australia.
Special events were held in Sydney as part of the collaboration, including a shopping night inspired by Merino wool and its timeless elegance. The windows of the most important luxury flagship stores and David Jones displayed photographs from the L'Uomo Vogue archives, creating an exclusive and extraordinary street photo exhibition dedicated to fashion and Merino wool.
Part of World Wide Wool also involved a photographic exhibition at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). Called An Artful Thread Between Fashion and Style, the exhibition encompassed portraits of Australian personalities from the L'Uomo Vogue issue.
Under the artistic direction of Franca Sozzani, a collection of amazing photos of Australia's most influential names in fashion, design, art, music, economy and public life, by the most important photographers, were exhibited to capture the multi-faceted Australian identity, featuring the likes of Baz Luhrmann, Cate Blanchett, Nick Cave, Abbie Cornish, Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Martin and Marc Newson.
In conjunction with the photo exhibition, MCA will hosted a special showcase dedicated to talents and wool: a fashion installation featuring the creations of the most promising emerging Australian designers, selected by Franca Sozzani with the support of Vogue Australia. The Australian designers selected were Strateas. Carlucci, Dion Lee, Josh Goot, Christopher Esber, From Britten and Romance was Born.
Another integral part of Mrs Sozzani’s visit once again highlighted the commitment towards education and talents, an engagement also shared by the Australian wool industry that has been supporting creativity for the past 50 years.
Mrs Sozzani visited the University of Technology, Sydney, where she hosted a lecture about innovation, style and textile materials and meet the most promising students.
As recognition of her passion for fostering education and concretely promoting talents worldwide, Franca Sozzani was also announced as the International Ambassador by Vogue Australia's Editor-in-Chief, Edwina McCann, for the recently established Australian Fashion Chamber (AFC) to nurture the national fashion scene and its future generation of designers.
In virtue of her new role within the AFC, Mrs Sozzani announced the promotion of a "bridge" between Australia and Italy: one of the emerging designers promoted by the AFC will be chosen by L'Uomo Vogue and Vogue Australia to represent the Australian creativity at the "Latest Fashion Buzz" event, taking place on January 2015 in Florence at Pitti Immagine, the most important fashion trade show in Europe for menswear. This event will provide a concrete opportunity to meet international media and buyers, a way to nurture the dialogue between Australia and Italy promoting style and talent.
"I am so proud of this big project, which celebrates such a vital country, its personalities and its youngest talents - whose creativity will be recognised and rewarded - and its world-renowned wool,” Mrs Sozzani said.
“The most talented will travel to Italy and be hosted along with their works in one of our greatest events, thus sealing the collaboration between Italy and Australia and confirming the active support we give to young designers from all over the world.”