The Woolmark Company announces the nine global finalists who will compete for the 2014/15 International Woolmark Prize (IWP).
For the next six to eight months, the winning designers will be required to develop a capsule collection in Merino wool, to be showcased during two extraordinary events which will highlight the finalists that have been selected from across the globe for both menswear and womenswear.
These designers will compete for the coveted International Woolmark Prize; one menswear and one womenswear winner will be awarded an additional AU$100,000 and the opportunity to be stocked in the most important retailers of the world including Harvey Nichols - London, Colette - Paris, 10 Corso Como - Milan, mytheresa.com - Germany, Saks Fifth Avenue - NYC, Joyce - China, Isetan Mitsukoshi - Japan and David Jones - Sydney.
"Through the support of some of the industry's most experienced and influential judges in each region, nine designers have been selected to represent their country at the International Woolmark Prize final awards events in 2015," explained Stuart McCullough, Managing Director of The Woolmark Company. "We thank each of them for their support and congratulate all the nominees for their time, effort and contribution."
The International Woolmark Prize expresses a long-lasting commitment by the Australian wool industry to support creativity and young designers - a mission that started in 1953 with the launch of the International Wool Secretariat awards, the second edition being won by two young designers, Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, providing the ultimate example of the evolution of fashion.
About the International Woolmark Prize:
The International Woolmark Prize crosses borders and cultures by seeking outstanding and emerging talent from around the world, aligning the support of emerging designers with the evolution of emerging countries.
It is an award for the next generation, shifting the focus from glamour to true talent as a way to highlight wool's eco-credentials. It is The Woolmark Company's social commitment, a sharing of resources to support local artisans.
In keeping with a long tradition of supporting individual excellence in design, the International Woolmark Prize aims to highlight the beauty of the Merino wool fibre at the hands of the world's finest designers.
The award is supported internationally by key fashion councils including the Council of Fashion Designers of America, British Fashion Council, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid, Japan Fashion Week Organization, IMG Australia and the Australian Fashion Chamber.
The regional judging panels have included esteemed industry representatives such as designers Thakoon Panichgul, Alexander Wang and Roland Mouret alongside industry representatives including Véronique Nichanian - Director of the masculine world of Hermès, Tim Blanks - Editor-at-Large, Style.com and Imran Amed - Editor, Business of Fashion.