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Sonia Rykiel is the official patron of the Merino Woolmark Prize
Jun '08
Sonia Rykiel has been announced as the official patron of the Australian Merino Woolmark Prize launching in Paris, July 2008.

Hailed by the American press as the “Queen of Knits”, French designer Sonia Rykiel launched her label in the early 60s. She was the first designer to put seams on the outside of garments, and to print words onto sweaters.

In 1980 she was voted one of the world's 10 most elegant women and in 1985 she was awarded Legion d'Honneur by the French government.

Upon accepting the position, Ms Rykiel announced, “I learnt everything from knitwear. I think that wool has earned the Prize that has been established in its name. I am proud to be the patron of the Woolmark Prize.”

Rykiel will be joined by a panel of global fashion experts who have been selected to award the winner of the Woolmark Prize, who will convene early July to begin the selection process. The jury consists of:

• Sally Singer (Fashion News Director, Vogue USA)
• Véronique Philipponat (Editor-in-Chief, Elle France)
• Olivier Saillard (Curator, Musée des Arts Décoratifs)
• Gabriele Hackworthy (Fashion Director, Vogue Chine)
• Sarah Lerfel (Boutique Colette, Paris)
• Vanessa Friedman (Fashion Writer, Financial Times, London)
• Sarah Mower (Journalist,
• Valerie Steele, (Curator, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York)
• Terry Jones (Creative Director, i-D magazine)

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) CEO, Craig Welsh explained, 'through the support of key identities within the international fashion industry, the Woolmark Prize has become a truly international award. We have jurors from the US, Europe and Asia and finalists from cultures as diverse as China, Japan, Norway and America, reinforcing Merino wool's global reach and universal appeal.'

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