The Woolmark Prize introduces Innovation award and increases prize money

The Woolmark Prize is thinking bigger, emphasising more than ever its support of young, emerging designers. The Woolmark Company, currently one of the partners of the Hyères Fashion and Photography Festival, has announced a major change in the format of its own international competition for emerging designers, by introducing a new award and significantly increasing the prize money.


Some of the European finalists - woolmarkprize.com


From the 2017-18 edition, the Woolmark Prize will feature a new Innovation Award, following in the steps of the equally prestigious ANDAM competition, which also recently introduced a prize for innovation. The Woolmark Company’s objective is to encourage entrants to be more adventurous, and stimulate textile companies in the development of pioneering woollen fabrics and yarns. The new prize will recognise the designer who will be most innovative in the use of wool fabrics.

The winner of the new award, out of an international shortlist of 12, will receive AUD100,000 and help in the form of commercial support, while their fabric manufacturer partner will be promoted worldwide by The Woolmark Company, as stated in a press release by the institution, part of Australian Wool Innovation, which owns the trademark for the fabric.

Another major change concerns the competition's prize money. It is good news for the participants: the purse, formally distributed only among the regional winners, will now be shared out among all finalists, and the main prize will double! Future menswear and womenswear category winners will in fact pocket AUD200,000, twice the amount as before.

Also, "the 65 candidates from the competition's six regions (Australia, Asia, Europe, the British Isles, the Middle East and the USA) will receive AUD2,000 to develop their creations ahead of the regional finals scheduled in July in Dubai, London, Milan, New York, Seoul and Sydney." Each of the regional winners will be awarded AUD70,000 (instead of 50,000 as in former editions) to create their capsule collections for the final showcase.

Meanwhile, the 2017-18 Woolmark Prize has selected 18 talented designers for the European final of the intercontinental competition. Only the names of the French finalists are yet to be chosen, and will be revealed on 2nd May.

For women's ready-to-wear, the short-list consists of Wim Bruynooghe (Belgium), Mark Kenly Domino Tan (Denmark), Vladimir Karaleev (Germany), Brognano (Italy), Aika Alemi (Kazakhstan), David Laport (the Netherlands), Tereza Rosalie Kladosova (Czech Republic), Moisés Nieto (Spain) and Bashaques' (Turkey).

The men's ready-to-wear competitors are instead Arte Antwerp (Belgium), 22/4  (Germany), Miaoran (Italy), Jazz Chris (the Netherlands), Miro Sabo (Czech Republic), NEO design (Serbia), Palomo Spain (Spain), L’Homme Rouge (Sweden) and MiiN (Turkey).

The winners of the European final will be announced in Milan next July.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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