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WOOLLY MINDED: The dust has only just settled on Australian sheep properties since the Campaign for Wool patron Prince Charles touched down in November as part of the Diamond Jubilee tour. Now wool growers are bracing for an influx of 200 international media representatives, who are due to fly in for the 2013 Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Awards. One of the biggest buyers of Australian superfine merino wool (18.5 microns and finer) since the Twenties, Zegna is celebrating the 50th edition of its annual Wool Trophy for the year’s best fleece, first presented in Tasmania in 1963 — with a second trophy, the Vellus Aureum (“Golden Fleece”) launched in 2002 to recognize fleeces of 13.9 microns and under.
To commemorate the milestone, Zegna is preparing for three days of festivities from April 21 to 23, which will include farm visits, a press dinner, press conference and, on April 23, a multimedia exhibition and party at the Royal Hall of Industries at Sydney’s Fox Studios. There, a runway show will feature the Ermenegildo Zegna fall collection, in addition to a special Australian Celebration Collection that will be sold globally. In Australia and New Zealand, the latter will be available immediately following the show through Zegna’s flagships in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland, as well as concessions within the David Jones department stores.