“I think the International Woolmark Prize is a fantastic initiative to be able to support emerging designers and provide financial support, mentorship and expansion in retail stores,” explained Nicole Warne, founder. “It’s going to help the winners with global expansion in every way. I think it is the most prestigious award you could win and being Australian I feel very connected and very proud of what Woolmark stands for.”
Incorporating an old army blanket and recycled wool fabric into his winning coat, Blair Archibald was able to uphold the sustainable practices which were used to produce trousers made from 17.5 micron and a turtleneck which uses 21 micron.
“It’s completely gratifying to be part of something that’s so innovating in itself,” said Blair Archibald. “It’s my job as a designer to be really informative and educational with my clients and the public. To be able to win something like this means I can continue with sustainable practices and be really proud to be an Australian-made brand.”
Praised for its versatility - the 16 micron wool dress transforms into a clutch - Harman Grubisa was inspired by the urban nomad, with the winning look satisfying the needs of the Harman Grubiša woman.
“It’s a real honour to even be nominated and included and we just feel extremely privileged that Woolmark exists,” said Madeleine Harman and Jessica Grubisa. “It encourages designers to think about the material they use and to be part of that journey is so wonderful.”
Both the winners will gain a financial contribution of AU$70,000, along with the opportunity to compete in the prestigious international final. In addition, each winner will receive mentoring support from a global panel of experts along with being granted a Woolmark licence. Further, they will receive AU$200,000 to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection, as well as mentoring from industry experts.
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 an extraordinary event that will highlight the six menswear finalists and six womenswear finalists selected from across the globe. (RR)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India
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