Europe’s Four Finalists for the International Woolmark Prize Revealed  

Four of the 12 global finalists for the 2018/19 International Woolmark prize were announced in London on Tuesday, Daniel W. Fletcher, Nicholas Daley and Edward Crutchley, all of whom are from the U.K., and Cmmn Swdn from Sweden. They will go on to compete for the final award, which will be held in London in February.
The big reveal came during a lunch at Somerset House in London on Tuesday, with the victorious designers now preparing to elaborate on their collections ahead of the final. All five designers — Cmmn Swdn is designed by Saif Bakir and Emma Hedlund — cast wool in the starring role of their very different collections.
The prize showcases international young talent with designs that highlight the versatility of merino wool. Each finalist will be awarded $ 52,100, and over the course of the next few months, they’ll work on producing a capsule collection that will be judged in February.
Crutchley, who designs a signature collection that shows in London and who also works with Kim Jones at Dior, said he was interested in how cultures express themselves through textiles. He worked with a mix of Breton lace and Javanese batik, and looked at Kabuki, cowboy and biker culture.
His collection,

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Bodice, Matthew Miller, Dyne Win International Woolmark Awards

FLORENCE — The Woolmark Company upped the ante this season, presenting not two, but three, awards to emerging designers from around the world.
In addition to the men’s and women’s wear winners, the 2018 edition of the International Woolmark Prize also marked the presentation of the inaugural Innovation award. This award was created in partnership with Fashion Tech Lab and rewarded the brand with the most innovative and creative wool fabrication, process or development.
Dyne, a collection of high-tech men’s wear created by Portland, Ore.-based Christopher Bevans, scored the Innovation award and $ 100,000.
The other winners were Bodice by Ruchika Sachdeva for women’s wear, and Matthew Miller for his eponymously named men’s line. Bodice had won the regional final for India, Pakistan and Middle East, while Miller had won the British Isles competition. Both Sachdeva and Miller will receive 200,000 Australian, or $ 153,400, to help fund the development of their businesses.
The winners were revealed during an event at Stazione Leopoldo following the first day of the Pitti Uomo show here.
Inspired by designer and philosopher Dieter Rams, Miller incorporated multifunctional elements in his collection such as a belt system that converted a garment into an accessory. He also treated wool in a variety of

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Woolmark and Facetasm Team for Capsule Collections

A WOOL PAIR: Facetasm and the Woolmark Company are teaming for two capsule collections, kicking off a relationship between the Japanese brand and textile company intended to last beyond the collaboration and foster ties between the Australian wool industry and Japan’s fashion sector.
Facetasm designer and founder Hiromichi Ochiai, who visited Australia to learn about merino wool production, will become the first “global wool ambassador from Japan,” said Woolmark managing director Stuart McCullough in a statement. McCullough noted that the country represents an important market in terms of creativity and quality, and that the partnership was meant to expand merino wool “beyond traditional tailoring.”
“I believe merino wool is an essential ingredient for the brand to move onto the next step in its creation,” said Ochiai, who spent time with sheep farmers on his visit. The first capsule collection will be shown in January in Paris.

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Bodice, Antar-Agni Win Regional Awards for Woolmark Prize

Indian designers won the women’s and men’s wear awards for the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East region of the International Woolmark Prize.
Ruchika Sachdeva, whose label Bodice won the women’s wear award, and Ujjawal Dubey, whose label Antar-Agni won in the men’s wear category, both emphasized wool’s weave and the fabric itself, in their respective collections.
“India has an advantage in that it is such a treasure trove. The handspun merino wool also lends us an abundance of techniques. The tradition of craft available for centuries adds to that,” Sachdeva, who started Bodice six years ago, told WWD.
The nominees for the Indian Subcontinent and Middle East included, for men’s wear Antar-Agni – India; Dhruv Kapoor – India; Theorem – India; Varoin Marwah – Dubai, and Ziggi Men’s Wear – Pakistan. For women’s wear, the nominees were Bodice – India; Hemang Agrawal – India; Matar – Bahrain; Khadija Rahman – Pakistan; Nour Najem – Lebanon; Timi Hayek – Lebanon; Péro – India, and Zonia Anwaar – Pakistan.
While wool has not really been a traditional fabric in India, it has made major inroads into the market in recent years and designers have been working their way past the mental block created by the subcontinent’s

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Zaid Affas, Chris Bevans Talk Next Steps After Winning Woolmark Prizes

NEW YORK — West Coast designers were well represented Tuesday night at the U.S. regional finals of the International Woolmark Awards here.
Zaid Affas, who is based in Los Angeles, and Chris Bevans of DYNE, which is based in Portland, Ore., scored the top prizes for women’s wear and men’s wear, respectively, at the U.S. regional finals. Both will compete in the international finals in January.
“It was a tight race. It always results in a conversation,” said Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, discussing the judging process that took place Tuesday at NeueHouse Madison Sq.  “Men’s was unanimous and women’s was a close race,” said Kolb.
Affas bested finalists Andrea Jiapei Li; Claudia Li; PH5’s Wei Lin and Mijia Zhang, and Protagonist’s Kate Wendelborn. Bevans prevailed over Death to Tennis’ William Watson and Vincent Oshin; Kenneth Ning, N-p-Elliott’s Nicholas Elliott, and Palmiers du Mal’s Shane Fonner and Brandon Capps.
Michelle A. Lee, head of Americas, The Woolmark Co., said, “The designers are getting stronger and stronger each year. There’s a pool of incredibly talented and creative designers. It helps us discover new talent whether or not they win.”
Julie Gilhart, another judge and consultant, said

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International Woolmark Prize Names European Finalists

MILAN — The International Woolmark Prize revealed its European regional finalists here on Tuesday, with David Laport and L’Homme Rouge winning for women’s wear and men’s wear, respectively.
The winners will receive 70,000 Australian dollars as a contribution to develop their final collection to be presented at the international finals that will take place in Florence in January.
Winners of the final competition will earn an additional 200,000 Australian dollars to invest in the development of their business and the opportunity to have their collections distributed by prominent retailers, such as Harvey Nichols in the U.K, L’Eclaireur in Paris and Boon the Shop in South Korea.
For the regional competition, Dutch designer Laport realized a feminine orange dress crafted in Merino wool crepe fabric and inspired by David Hockney’s “A Bigger Splash” painting.
“He walked in and I just though ‘wow’ at first sight, without even speaking,” said Edward Buchanan, creative director of the Sansovino 6 label, who was part of the women’s wear judging panel. “There was a simplicity and a joy, which we’re missing in fashion right now,” he added.
Regarding the craftsmanship, Buchanan praised Laport’s use of Merino wool, which, “along with David’s delicacy in crafting the details, has enhanced the freshness of

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Judges Revealed for International Woolmark Prize USA Regional Final

The Woolmark Co. has revealed the nine judges tasked with determining the U.S. designers who will compete for the International Woolmark Prize in the women’s wear and men’s wear categories.
This year’s USA regional final will take place July 18 at NeueHouse Madison Square in New York.
The judges are André Leon Talley, fashion author, editor and consultant; Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America; Kate Lanphear, brand strategist and consultant; Laura Brown, editor in chief of InStyle; Stefano Tonchi, editor in chief of W magazine; Julie Gilhart, fashion consultant and International Woolmark Prize mentor; Malcolm Carfrae, founder, Carfrae Consulting and International Woolmark Prize mentor; Nick Sullivan, fashion director, Esquire, and Michelle A. Lee, head of Americas, The Woolmark Co.
“This year we have a total of 64 designers taking part in the International Woolmark Prize, spreading across key global and merging markets. The recent restructure of the program places a greater focus on the design talent and our partners. The increase in prize money combined with the addition of the Innovation Award for the global final ensures the award — and its participants — remain at the forefront of design and innovation,” said Stuart

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Woolmark x Lane Crawford Collection Launched in Shanghai

SHANGHAI — Chinese designer brands Helen Lee and Particle Fever designed capsule collections with a “Sport x Fashion” theme in collaboration with The Woolmark Co. and department store Lane Crawford.
The collections, along with an accompanying campaign fronted by model He Sui, were launched at a Saturday night event at Shanghai’s Lane Crawford store in the shopping street Huaihai Road.
Prior to the event Helen Lee, whose brand has been a mainstay of China’s fashion scene for a decade and was one of the first Chinese labels picked up by Lane Crawford, told WWD that over the past two years young Chinese consumers have been seeking more balance by taking up an active lifestyle and now need the clothes to match.
“In China, people weren’t that into sport, but lately it’s become more popular for people to look for this kind of lifestyle,” she said.
“It’s mainly young people and people caring about their health. Especially in the urban environment, people work really hard and they want to get out and have a better balance in their life.”
It’s a trend that has also been noticed by Lane Crawford, with chief brand officer Joanna Gunn optimistic about the future of the category among Chinese consumers.
“With the

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Cottweiler, Gabriela Hearst Clinch International Woolmark Prize

PARIS — New York-based designer Gabriela Hearst and the London underground-inspired label Cottweiler took home this year’s International Woolmark Prizes for women and men, respectively.
At a Champagne reception at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, a panel stacked with top names in the fashion industry announced the winners, both of whom will receive 100,000 Australian dollars, or about $ 75,614 at current exchange.
Lanvin’s creative director Bouchra Jarrar and designer Victoria Beckham were among the judges for the women’s wear prize, while Hood By Air creative director Shayne Oliver and Olivier Lalanne, editor in chief of Vogue Hommes, sat on the men’s wear panel.
Cottweiler, the U.K. underground brand by Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty, wowed judges with a utility-focused capsule collection that paired extra-fine merino weaves that could easily be mistaken for cotton with nylon puffer vests.
“Cottweiler stood out because it was so contemporary and in the conversation,” said Hood By Air’s Oliver, citing the brand’s strong showing during London Men’s Fashion Week and collaboration with Reebok.
“We felt like Cottweiler was at a place where the brand could handle this cash flow,”  he added. “Seeing how well they’ve done with collaborations I think it’s exciting to see what they can do with this investment on their

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Rochambeau Taps Nike, Avery Dennison and Others for Woolmark Prize Collection

Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper, the design team behind New York-based men’s wear brand Rochambeau, looked to multiple resources to help them compete at the highest level for the 2016-17 International Woolmark Prize contest, which will be awarded in Paris on Wednesday, Jan. 23.
Rochambeau, who won the U.S. Woolmark prize last July along with women’s designer Gabriela Hearst, will compete against MÜNN from Asia, Ex Infinitas from Australia, Cottweiler from Britain, Tonsure from Europe and Bounipun from India.
Their winning look for the U.S. competition, which was influenced by the late artist Dash Snow, consisted of a boxer short made from wool suit fabric, a hand-waxed wool vest that looked like trompe’l’oeil leather, a wool hat and trousers. Chandler hopes to build on that with a larger collection that’s been created with help from Nike, Avery Dennison, Chromatic, Larsson and Jennings, Evrythng and Albertus Swanepoel. Rochambeau also worked with fabric mills including Dashing Tweeds, American Woolen, Aurotex, Steady Tex and Kendor Fabrics.
“We want to continue the narrative we created this past summer by bringing on great partners and innovating with wool,” said Chandler, who added that the entire line was created in New York.
Rochambeau, a 2016 Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist that

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International Woolmark Prize Selects 12 Global Finalists

The 2015-16 International Woolmark Prize global finalists have all been decided.
The six men’s wear finalists will compete in January at Pitti Uomo in Florence, while the six women’s wear finalists will face off in New York in February.
The six men’s wear nominees are Munsoo Kwon (Asia); P. Johnson (Australia); Agi & Sam (British Isles), Jonathan Christopher (Europe) Suketdhir (India, Pakistan and Middle East), and Siki Im (U.S.).
The six women’s wear nominees are J Koo (Asia), Bianca Spender (Australia), Teatum Jones (British Isles), Nanna van Blaaderen (Europe), Taller Marmo (India, Pakistan and Middle East), and Tanya Taylor (U.S.).
“The International Woolmark Prize is a truly global celebration of emerging talent,” said Stuart McCullough, managing director of The Woolmark Co. “The competition not only allows the participating designers to share their vision on the world’s stage, it provides them with the opportunity for far-reaching commercial success.”
Ultimately, the two winners will receive $ 100,000 Australian dollars, or about $ 73,000 at current exchange rate and the opportunity to have their collection carried in Harvey Nichols in London; 10 Corso Como in Milan, Beijing and Shanghai; Matchesfashion.com; Mytheresa.com; Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S.; Joyce in China; Isetan Mitsukoshi in Japan; Boutique 1 in the United Arab

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U.S. Finalists Vie for Regional Woolmark Prize

On Tuesday, the two U.S. winners of the 2015-16 regional Woolmark Prize will be selected at Milk Studios Penthouse in New York.
Five women’s wear and five men’s wear designers will compete for the two spots and the opportunity to participate in the international finals. One men’s wear and one women’s wear designer will be selected by a jury based on sketches of a six-piece merino wool capsule collection, with one garment actually produced. The two winners will receive a financial contribution of 50,000 Australian dollars, or about $ 37,000 at the current exchange rate, toward their next collection.
In addition to New York, five other regional competitions take place in London, Shanghai, Sydney, British Isles, Dubai, and Antwerp, Belgium. Two winners from each region will go on to compete in the international finals. The international men’s wear final will be held at Pitti Uomo in Florence in January, and the six women’s wear finalists will meet in New York in February.
The two international winners will receive $ 100,000 Australian dollars, or about $ 74,200, each and the opportunity to have their collection carried in Harvey Nichols in London; 10 Corso Como in Milan, Beijing and Shanghai; Matchesfashion.com; Mytheresa.com; Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S.;

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