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Netherlands designers win Woolmark prize European finals
Jul '15
Jonathan Christopher and Nanna Van Blaaderen from Netherlands were named European finalists in the menswear and womenswear categories respectively, of the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize.

They were declared finalists at an awards event held in Antwerp, Belgium, hosted by MoMu – Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp and the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.

The judging panel comprised of Walter Van Beirendonck, Simon Chilvers, Veerle Windels, James Sleaford and Fabrizio Servente selected Jonathan Christopher as the menswear winner.

“Nanna Van Blaaderen was selected by An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx, Justin O’Shea, Christiane Arp, John de Greef and Colin McDowell as the winner for the womenswear category,” a Woolmark press release said.

“The judges’ choice for the menswear winner was unanimous,” Walter Van Beirendonck said.

“Jonathan came into the room with a true fashion focus; we all appreciated his innovation with Merino wool and use of materials,” he added.

“He fully embodied our criteria to showcase the best in wool and showed us his vision,” Beirendonck informed.

From the womenswear judging panel, design duo An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx said, “All the judges are hungry to see Nanna develop the collection for the international final.”

“You can see that she really is in love with wool and knows how to manage the fibre as she created an almost three dimensional feeling and texture,” they too added.

Jonathan Christopher said of his win, “To be honoured with such an award, from such a distinguished jury and with all the amazing designers that have come before me, is indescribable.”

“Wool plays a very large part in my collections, since it is so versatile and at the moment I am working with wool denim, one of the most current and innovative trends in wool,” Christopher also informed.

“I am overwhelmed as I have always worked with wool and would not have it any other way,” Nanna Van Blaaderen remarked.

Chosen from amongst the 17 most promising talents in European fashion design, both winners bagged the AU $50,000 award and an opportunity to represent Europe and compete in the international finals.

The final for menswear will be held in Florence in January 2016, and the womenswear final will be held in New York in February 2016.

For the next six to seven months, the winning designers will be required to develop a capsule collection in Merino wool, to be showcased at the finals that will highlight the six global finalists in both categories.

The finalists will compete for the International Woolmark Prize, with the winners being awarded an additional AU $100,000 and also an opportunity to be stocked in the most important retailers of the world.

These retailers include Harvey Nichols in London; 10 Corso Como in Milan, Beijing and Shanghai; online retailer Matchesfashion.com; another online retailer Mytheresa.com, Saks Fifth Avenue and many more. (AR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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