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International Woolmark Prize

Dream Weavers

In 2013, five emerging designer brands were chosen to compete and write a new chapter in fashion history.

Dream Weavers is their journey.

Film-maker Anthony Lau travels to the designers' homes, taking the audience to Hong Kong, Australia, England, India and the USA, to reveal the designers' thoughts, anxieties, hopes and dreams.

Key judges from the esteemed panel also make appearances, with interviews from Alexa Chung and Colin McDowell, offering insights to the competition and why the International Woolmark Prize remains one of the most coveted fashion awards of our time.

The International Woolmark Prize is a fashion design award that identifies the world's foremost emerging designers, whilst highlighting the diverse interpretations of Merino wool within their collections.

First held in 1953 as an initiative of the International Wool Secretariat (IWS), the award the following year helped launch the careers of iconic fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. Today, the International Woolmark Prize crosses borders and cultures by recognising outstanding new talent from emerging and established fashion hotspots.

The International Woolmark Prize is the pinnacle of AWI's activities to promote the use of Australian Merino wool in fashion. The competition has gained extraordinary momentum and evolved into a highly coveted, internationally recognised award.

Over the past two years, the initiative has generated more than $91 million in editorial value. The 2014/15 edition of the International Woolmark Prize has expanded to include a menswear category, further promoting the use of Merino wool within the fashion apparel industry.

2013/14 International Woolmark Prize

Rahul Mishra was awarded the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize at an event staged during Milan Fashion Week in February 2014. Representing India and the Middle East, the mild-mannered designer was praised for his incredible knowledge of techniques and craftsmanship, with stunning embroidery adorning his six-piece capsule collection.

Edging out ffiXXed (Asia), Christopher Esber (Australia), Sibling (Europe) and Altuzarra (USA), Rahul Mishra was chosen by a panel of experts including: Angelica Cheung (Vogue China), Colette Garnsey (The Woolmark Company), Franca Sozzani, (Vogue Italia, L'Uomo Vogue, Vogue.it), Frida Giannini (Gucci), Tim Blanks (Style.com) and Alexa Chung, with fashion journalist and academic Colin McDowell acting as a mentor.

Mishra's collection will be stocked in some of the world's leading retailers, including Sydney's David Jones store from August 2014.

Read more about the final of the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize in the March 2014 edition of Beyond the Bale.

2012/13 International Woolmark Prize

The 2012/13 winner was European designer Christian Wijnants, who was presented with the award at an event held during London Fashion Week in February 2013.

He edged out five other finalists from around the globe: Dion Lee, representing Australia; Ban Xiao Xue, representing China; Pankaj and Nidhi, representing India; DRESSEDUNDRESSED, representing Japan; and Sophie Theallet, representing the USA.

The winning collection of Christian Wijnants has been stocked in premier retailers around the world including the Sydney city store of David Jones.

The judging panel for the 2012/13 competition was made up of eight of the most important and influential people in fashion, each one a pillar of the global fashion industry:

  • Diane von Furstenberg - Co-Chairman and Founder, DVF Studio LLC
  • Donatella Versace - Creative Director and Vice President of Gianni Versace S.p.A.
  • Franca Sozzani - Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia, L'Uomo Vogue Italia and Vogue.it. Editorial Director of Condé Nast Italia. "Goodwill Ambassador for Fashion 4 Development" for the UN
  • Tim Blanks - Editor-at-Large Style.com
  • Victoria Beckham
  • Andrew Keith - President of Joyce and Lane Crawford
  • Carla Sozzani - Owner 10 Corso Como
  • Paula Reed - Group Fashion Director Harvey Nichols.

Read more about the final of the 2012/13 International Woolmark Prize in the March 2013 edition of Beyond the Bale.

Further Information

For more information, including images and videos from the 2012/13 and 2013/14 competitions, visit the International Woolmark Prize website.