This year, for the 58th edition of the prestigious program, the Ermenegildo Zegna Group celebrated its award ceremony alongside the Australian Superfine Wool Growers Association's (ASWGA) 50th anniversary in the foundation's birthplace of Ararat, Vic.
The group honoured Australia's best growers by awarding the "Superfine Wool Trophy" and the "Vellus Aureum Trophy" during an exclusive celebration hosted by Ermenegildo Zegna Group director Paolo Zegna, held at The Ararat Gallery on May 14, in the presence of representatives of the major institutions associated with the world of wool.
Both competitions continue to be intended to encourage and reward breeders for their commitment to quality, in Australia.
The winning wool bales and fleeces are judged according to a strict set of criteria including fineness, style, strength, colour and evenness.
The 2022 Superfine Wool Trophy was won by Tarrangower Merinos' David and Angie Waters, Hillgrove, NSW.
While 2nd and 3rd place winners were Kingston's Simon and Ann Louise Cameron, Conara, Tas and Mulgowan's Clive and Margaret Smith, Amiens, Qld, respectively.
While the winners of the Vellus Aureum Trophy were Lexton's Bradley Sandlant, Lexton, Vic, with a new record at a remarkable 9.8 microns and Rowensville's David and Susan Rowbottom, St. Helens, Vic, and Myndarra's Aaron and Rebecca Rowbottom, Orford, Vic, were respectively second and third in the competition.
The journey has always been as important as the destination at Ermenegildo Zegna Group.
The relationship between Zegna Group and Australian wool dates back to the early years of 1900 when the company began sourcing this incredible natural fibre.
Its inherent excellence and unique characteristics allow the group to constantly evolve the beauty and performance of its products.
Superfine wool has been, and continues to be, the key to creating many of the company's most precious fabrics and exclusive garments.
Charting our history, values and intention from start to end and entwined in progressive ideas, Ermenegildo Zegna Group was the first company to believe in and recognize the importance of supporting the growers and the ASWGA in their work, to reach a better and higher recognition in the international arena.
The Zegna Group established its inaugural "Ermenegildo Zegna Perpetual Trophy" 59 years ago, to award and incentivize growers to improve the quality of superfine merino and has consistently worked to celebrate the importance of this fibre.
This competition is today the oldest existing in the world of wool.
Our history and mission weaved in ideas and to always look forward and purposefully enabling the community with a shared mindset.
A second trophy, the "Vellus Aureum Trophy" followed almost 50 years later, in 2002 to recognize the quest and celebrate the incredible advances made by Australian woolgrowers for absolute excellence by benchmarking every year the finest woollen fleeces - measuring 13.9 microns and finer - in the wool production countries.
In 2016, the finest and best fleece was recorded at an exceptional 9.9 microns, making it still an un-beaten world record.
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