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AWI launches 'Woolmark Prize' for up-and-coming designers

May '08
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has announced the launch of 'The Australian Merino Woolmark Prize', an international prize to help up-and-coming designers get a solid footing on the international stage.

The Woolmark Prize this year is the first major project of AWI/The Woolmark Company's (TWC) partnership, reviving The Woolmark brand. In 1954 a similar program, from which the current Prize takes its inspiration, began the careers of Karl Lagerfield and Yves Saint Laurent.

“We see this as an opportunity to support the future of design and at the same time showcase to the world Australian Merino wool at its best and most innovative,” said AWI chief executive, Craig Welsh.

“It is also a way to assist future designers and consumers to understand the great benefits of Australian Merino wool being natural, biodegradable and sustainable, which makes it one of the most exciting natural fibres available today.”

In 1954, two unknown designers won their respective fashion design categories, beginning their iconic careers and influence. A then 21 year old Karl Lagerfeld won the coat category, while Yves Saint Laurent, 19, took out the award for dress design, presented to them by the International Wool Secretariat.

An international panel of fashion experts has selected designers from China, Japan, Norway, England, Belgium, Germany and France to take part in The Woolmark Prize 2008. The designers have each created a collection highlighting thesensual, sculptural aspects of knit.

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