Roll up, roll up. It’s that time of year again where Australian wool experts Woolmark announces the budding young talents who will be taking part in the annual International Woolmark Prize. If you’re not familiar with this warm and fuzzy staple on the fashion calendar, the ceremony has been running since 1953, with Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeldbeing the prize’s first-ever winners.
Each year, the finalists are challenged to create a mini-collection using Merino wool that reflects their distinct design DNA. This year the prize will celebrate slow and responsibly produced fashion and craftsmanship. From more than 380 applicants, hailing from 55 countries, the final six designers include British talents Bethany Williams and Matty Bovan, Paris-based menswear designer Casablanca, Lecavalier over in Canada, as well as Nigeria’s Kenneth Ize and former LVMH Prize winner Thebe Magugu in South Africa.
Each creative visionary will go head-to-head in a bid to win a whopping AU$200,000 to invest into their buisnesses. The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation is also up for grabs, which means either the International Woolmark Prize winner or another finalist will take home another prize of AU$100,000. Cha-ching.
“It is my pleasure to support the International Woolmark Prize. Now more so than ever, in these incredibly challenging times for our industry, we must continue to support and nurture the emerging voices in fashion design,” explains Naomi Campbell, who sits on the prize’s advisory council alongside Sarah Mower and our Editor Alison Veness. “They are the future, and I look forward to seeing what creative and innovative work comes out of this year’s entries to push our industry’s ongoing mission in diversity and sustainability.”
The winner will be announced with a ceremony amongst the next London Fashion Week.
by Paul Toner