Woolmark x Prada have made the sport uniform of the future
What does one of the world’s most prestigious sailing teams wear to take on the toughest competition in professional boat racing?
Something that will keep them warm when it’s cold, cool when it’s hot and dry when the Atlantic decides to play up?
For the ocean-conquering Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team, it turns out the answer is wool.
Announced beneath the baking Florence sun at the twice-yearly fashion trade show Pitti Uomo, Woolmark and Prada are collaborating on a collection of sporting pieces utilising the best of time-honoured natural fibres and modern technology, designed specifically to take on the challenge's of the 36th America's Cup, beginning in Cagliari, Italy, before travelling all the way to Auckland, New Zealand.
Max Sirena, Team Director of Luna Rossa, said of the collection: “Our physical activity is very demanding in terms of clothing: the garments we wear must be as isothermic, elastic, breathable and water resistant as possible. Well, I discovered on my own skin that Merino wool is all this. It really is a performance fibre, and besides that, it is also absolutely sustainable and biodegradable. I must say that our new uniforms are a wonderful surprise that makes our body - and our spirit - feel good.”
Featuring soft shell jackets, polos, taped technical trousers, base layers, t-shirts and even a wet suit, the collaboration has the futuristic style of a Prada Linea Rossa runway show with the added benefit of Woolmark's fabrication expertise.
“It’s the first time wool will take to the seas on such a large scale and allows us - along with Australia’s 60,000 woolgrowers - to see Australian wool used in such an innovative way," says The Woolmark Company Managing Director Stuart McCullough.
Here's hoping for a full-scale commercial offering soon. That waterproof jacket is something special.