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International Woolmark Prize

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.

2015/16 International Woolmark Prize

For the 2015/16 competition, the number of regional finals expanded from five to six, now including the British Isles as well as Asia; Australia; Europe; India, Pakistan & Middle East; and the USA. The regional finals were held in July at which a menswear and womenswear winner were chosen from each region.

Womenswear category

British label Teatum Jones won this year’s womenswear competition, presenting a Merino wool capsule collection that uses geometric foil prints and hand embroideries on skirts and jackets. The announcement was made during a special event as part of New York Fashion Week in February 2016. The finalists were Teatum Jones (British Isles), Bianca Spender (Australia), J KOO (Asia), Nanna van Blaaderen (Europe), Taller Marmo (India, Pakistan and the Middle East) and Tanya Taylor (USA).

Menswear category

Indian label SUKETDHIR has won this year’s menswear competition, presenting a Merino wool capsule collection that fuses classic western tailoring with elements of the designer’s national dress. The announcement was made at the prestigious Pitti Uomo menswear trade show in Florence in January 2016. The finalists were SUKETDHIR (India, Pakistan & the Middle East), Jonathan Christopher (Europe), P. Johnson (Australia), Munsoo Kwon (Asia), AGI & SAM (British Isles) and Siki Im (USA).


2014/15 International Woolmark Prize

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.

Menswear category

Held on the opening day of London Collections: Men in January, five of the world’s leading emerging menswear designers each presented a six-piece Merino wool capsule collection to a panel which included iconic designer Paul Smith and Editor-at-large for Style.com Tim Blanks. The designers were SISE (Asia), STRATEAS.CARLUCCI (Australia), Asger Juel Larsen (Europe), The Emperor 1688 (India & Middle East) and PUBLIC SCHOOL (USA). It was as hip New York label PUBLIC SCHOOL, led by Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, which edged out the fierce competition with their fully fashioned knit collection, blurring the lines between sportswear and streetwear and influenced by the urban culture of NYC.

Womenswear category

The final of the womenswear category was held, fittingly in this Year of the Sheep, in Beijing on 17 March. Marcia Patmos, designer of M.PATMOS from the USA was announced the winner of the 2015 womenswear category, beating the other competitors VMAJOR (Asia), STRATEAS.CARLUCCI (Australia), Augustin Teboul (Europe) and Bird on a Wire (India & Middle East). An esteemed judging panel including iconic designer and style icon Victoria Beckham; Editor-in-Chief of Vogue China, Angelica Cheung; Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani; and Global Head of Communications, Public Relations and Media at Ralph Lauren, Malcolm Carfrae, sat alongside representatives from IWP retail partners to select the winner.

 

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 competitions, visit the International Woolmark Prize website.