Now in its seventh year, The Woolmark Company is reinforcing its commitment to supporting the very best emerging design talent by appointing an expert Advisory Council, who were responsible for selecting this year’s International Woolmark Prize nominees.
The 2018/19 International Woolmark Prize Advisory Council included:
· Tim Blanks, Editor-at-large, Business of Fashion
· Jefferson Hack, Founder, Dazed Media
· Christine Centenera, Fashion Director, Vogue Australia, and Co-Founder WARDROBE.NYC
· Alison Veness, Editor of 10 and 10 Men Australia
· Rebecca Khoury, Associate Editor of 10 and 10 Men Australia
· Catherine Baba, Stylist, Designer, Consultant & Costume Designer
· Sara Sozzani Maino, Deputy Editor-in-chief, Vogue Italia and Head of Vogue Talents
· Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, Co-Founders, Diet Prada
· Gert Jonkers, Co-founder and Editor-in-chief, Fantastic Man
· Christiane Arp, Editor-in-chief, Vogue Germany
· Colin McDowell, Fashion Journalist and Commentator
More than 300 emerging fashion designers from across 46 countries applied to take part in this year’s International Woolmark Prize. The most promising 42 designers, who showcased creativity, originality of design, innovation and brand recognition, have now been nominated to present their brand to a panel of experts at one of three semi-final events in July. The 2018/19 International Woolmark Prize nominees from Australia are Albus Lumen and Jacinta James.
Advisory Council member Tim Blanks said, “The name says it all. The International Woolmark Prize is a genuinely global snapshot of emerging talent, and I can’t wait to meet this year’s nominees.” Diet Prada’s Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler added, “Having built the presence of Diet Prada through thoughtful commentary on both established luxury players and small independent brands, it was an amazing experience to actually contribute to the selection process for the Woolmark Prize. There’s such a large pool of fresh, forward-thinking talent using materials in remarkable ways. We hope that the Prize will drive all of the designers to continue their innovations and propel their businesses further.”
Semi-finals will be held in Hong Kong on 5th July, London on 10th July and New York on 12th July, with nominees invited to pitch to an esteemed judging panel for investment in a capsule collection crafted from Merino wool. These events will then identify the 12 finalists to take part in the International Woolmark Prize global final to be held at an international fashion week in early 2019.
Finalists will each receive a financial contribution of AU$70,000 to invest in the development of their capsule collection alongside mentoring, business training and showcasing opportunities. One menswear and one womenswear designer will each receive AU$200,000 at the global final along with guaranteed placement in some of the most important boutiques around the globe that have committed to supporting the award. The Innovation Award will also be presented, for a second year, to one finalist, with a financial contribution of AU$100,000. All International Woolmark Prize finalists will receive sales support and mentoring for commercialization opportunities.
The International Woolmark Prize is a long-term program designed to nurture and support designers throughout their career. The 42 designer nominees are invited to attend a workshop hosted by The Woolmark Company to help prepare them for the development and manufacturing of their capsule collection to support with the commercialization of their collection ideas. Workshops will include detailed presentations by industry experts, with a focus on innovation across fabric development and processing to improve the overall impact of collections on the environment and the wearer to ensure the International Woolmark Prize continues to push the boundaries of global fashion.
“As the International Woolmark Prize continues to evolve, we have restructured our program to ensure emerging design talent receives the highest level of industry support and guidance,” explains The Woolmark Company Managing Director Stuart McCullough. “This year we invited designers to apply to participate in the program and this generated an overwhelming number of applicants, from New York, London and Tokyo through to Mexico, Russia and Nigeria. This reinforces our belief that the International Woolmark Prize has no geographical borders, that fashion has no boundaries and that Australian Merino wool will remain as relevant to fashion tomorrow as it does today.”