Prada teams up with Woolmark for the America's Cup

As the 96th edition of Pitti Uomo got underway on Tuesday, Prada invaded the courtyard of the Fortezza da Basso, the 16th-century fort that hosts the menswear trade show, to announce a technical partnership with The Woolmark Company. The global authority on wool, which brings together Australian merino wool producers and owns the trademark for this textile fibre, will develop and manufacture the uniforms that will be worn by the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team.


The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and Woolmark teams at Pitti Uomo on Tuesday - ph Dominique Muret

The boat, of which the Italian label is the principal sponsor, alongside Pirelli, will be taking on the current holders of the America's Cup, Team New Zealand, for a chance to take part in the 36th edition of the famous regatta. This marks the fifth time that Luna Rossa will be participating in the competition to win the legendary trophy, which is an important event for Prada. 

It was Lorenzo Bertelli, marketing and communication director and eldest son of designer Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, the couple at the head of the Italian fashion house, who came to Florence to announce the deal alongside Woolmark CEO Stuart McCullough. "This is the first time that Woolmark has been associated with such a prestigious team and in a context with so much visibility," he beamed. 

Images of the ocean flickered across the stage set up for the announcement, which brought together the deal's main players, as well as the Luna Rossa crew. "For us, it's fantastic that Woolmark is going to be able to demonstrate the highest performance capacities of merino wool in an ultra-competitive sporting context," explained Fabrizio Servente, the company's global strategy adviser. 


Members of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli crew model the Woolmark uniforms - DR

"The first pieces were developed in September 2018, they were polos. To be honest, I was really surprised by the performance of the wool, which is usually associated with the cold and winter. These merino pieces are super comfortable and light, they dry straight away and adapt to all temperatures thanks to their natural heat regulation. They're also breathable and don't develop odours," commented team director Max Sirena enthusiastically. 

The Woolmark-certified uniform includes a waterproof jacket, a sports jacket, a polo, a t-shirt, overalls and technical underwear, among other pieces. 

The first regattas of the America's Cup World Series will take place in 2019 and 2020. These heats will be followed by the Prada Cup's Challenger selection regattas, which begin in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2021. The finalists will compete for the America's Cup in March 2021. 

Translated by Robin Driver

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