The Woolmark Company re-launched the International Woolmark Prize this year to help promote outstanding design talent from around the world, and through its design innovations inspire and educate consumers on the natural beauty of Merino wool.
The International Woolmark Prize comprises five regional competitions - USA, Europe, China, Australia and India. The winners of each regional competition will travel to London Fashion Week in February 2013 where they will present an entire capsule collection of Australian Merino wool and an international winner will be selected.
The international winner will have his/her designs stocked by leading global retailers including David Jones in Australia, Bergdorf Goodman in the USA, Harvey Nichols in the UK, 10 Corso Como in Italy, Joyce in China and Eickoff in Germany.
Six of the most talented Australian designers vied for the Australian award including Ellery, Christopher Esber, Magdelena Velevska, Carl Kapp and Song for the Mute.
Dion Lee was selected as the winner by iconic industry figures: Edwina McCann – Editor-in-Chief Vogue Australia; Richard Nichol – Designer; Simon P Lock – Founder of Australian Fashion Week; Malcolm Carfrae – Global Vice President of Communications for Calvin Klein; and David Bush – Buyer Womenswear David Jones.
“The International Woolmark Prize has generated worldwide attention as more partners, retailers and media align themselves and their brands to help promote the outstanding talent that has been sourced from around the world,” explained Stuart McCullough, CEO of Australian Wool Innovation, owners of The Woolmark Company. “It has been a tough decision today and we look forward to supporting and working with Dion in the lead up to the finals in February where they have the chance to be awarded with the once in a lifetime opportunities that are on offer for the winner of the International Woolmark Prize.”
“I was thrilled to be a part of the Australian Division of the Woolmark Prize judging panel today and thought that the standard was extremely high but there was a clear winner,” explained designer Richard Nichol. “Dion is the ideal designer ambassador for Australia, I think he has a good chance of winning the overall international competition also which would be a fantastic result for the perception of Australian fashion as a whole and inspiring for future generations of winners.”
The Woolmark Company
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