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    Sheep, New Yorkers Mingle at Campaign for Wool's U.S. Launch

    If you were to walk by Bryant Park today, you'd see something a cross between a trade show, a petting zoo, and a fantastical Dr. Seuss illustration. Announcing its U.S. debut, the Campaign for Wool has transformed the park into a wool wonderland, complete with a glamorously appointed "wool salon" designed by Gensler's Thomas Vecchione and swathed in fabrics and carpeting by Campaign for Wool partners including Camira, Brintons Carpets, and ABC Home.

    Since its launch by HRH The Prince of Wales in England in 2010, the Campaign has sought to raise awareness about wool as a durable, sustainable, and beautiful material. Water in the park's iconic fountain has been swapped out for towering sculptures of scoured wool, and there's a steady crowd of passersby flocking around a pen of sheep on the lawn, all of whom seem remarkably unfazed by their foray into Midtown.

    "The response has been amazing. We see the campaign as a collaborative effort, a coming together of people from all segments of the wool industry," says spokeswoman Bridgette Kelly. "We wanted New Yorkers to get a chance to see some things they don't see every day, like beautiful textiles--and, of course, sheep," says Vecchione of the event's inspiration.

    New York-based interior designer Steven Gambrel, who has used the material in both traditional and surprising applications, kicked off the event with a talk this morning. "Nature provides such authentic textures that have their own personality and language," Gambrel says. He named the common denominator of wool's appeal in all its forms: "Wool has the warmth we're always looking to lend a space."

    Case in point: the cozy carpet and plush sofas had schoolchildren and buttoned-up professionals alike treating the park like an expansive outdoor living room, with one visitor going so far as to lie down and take the Vi-Spring wool mattress on display for a test-drive.

    If you're in New York and you want to get out there and "join the flock," there's still time--"Wool Uncovered" is open until 6 PM tonight. The organization hopes to throw a flagship event each year going forward.