2012 September 28

Alan Eckstein Joins The Campaign For Wool Flock

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Alan Eckstein, center, with Donna Kang (who gave him his fave sweater!) and Timo Weiland Alan Eckstein, center, with Donna Kang (who gave him his fave sweater!) and Timo Weiland
Patrick McMullan
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The highlight of Wool Week: Bryant Park's transformation into a sheep's meadow for the day and the famous Fountain Terrace turned into a luxurious Wool Salon. This fall, it's all about The Campaign for Wool, which came to the U.S. for the first time (sheep and all) this year. The campaign's debut has won the support of the wool industry across the globe and is achieving new profile for wool as the environmental agenda grows. On Chic's agenda? Uncovering the wool campaign with fashion panelist and sweater-lover Alan Eckstein of Timo Weiland.

Why is Wool Week so important?
Because it's a raw fiber that has been in usage for thousands of years; it's something historic! My grandmother has made me my sweaters since I was one month old; my dad has had his sweaters made by my grandmother since he was a month old....and my grandma has sweaters from her grandmother since she was one-month-old! It's a process that keeps recycling.

Sounds like the Ecksteins have a rich, sweater-loving history.
A lot of other families do. I'm not that rare of an occurrence!

What are the benefits of utilizing wool in design? 
Wool is so amazing to make sweaters because you can control every aspect of the garment. At Timo Weiland, we custom-make some textiles. With sweaters, you can custom-make every inch of the garment. Everyone needs a sweater!

What about Californians? Do they need sweaters?
Sweaters are perfect to wear there because you don't really wear heavy coats; you just wear a sweater!

Are there any challenges to working with wool? 
The lead-time is a little bit longer; our knits have to be designed a month before the rest of the collection.

What is your favorite wool piece in your wardrobe? 
I love this sweater that our head designer and best friend Donna [Kang] gave me a long time ago. It was one of the first things she ever gave me. It's an ivory wool cable-knit. I have a lot of knit sweaters; my girlfriend is always telling me to get them out of the house.

How many do you own?
Over 100, I'd say. I received my grandpa's knits when he passed away. I received my dad's because as most men get older, they get a little wider. He's probably going to hate that I said that!

If sheep could talk, what would they want to tell The Daily?
They would probably say, "Please stop taking my wool off my body!"

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