Semi-finals will be held in Hong Kong on July 5, London on July 10 and New York on July 12, with nominees invited to pitch to the judging panel for investment in a capsule collection crafted from Merino wool. These events will then identify the 12 finalists to take part in the IWP global final to be held at an international fashion week in early 2019.
"The name says it all. The International Woolmark Prize is a genuinely global snapshot of emerging talent, and I can’t wait to meet this year’s nominees," advisory council member Tim Blanks said.
"Having built the presence of Diet Prada through thoughtful commentary on both established luxury players and small independent brands, it was an amazing experience to actually contribute to the selection process for the Woolmark Prize. There's such a large pool of fresh, forward-thinking talent using materials in remarkable ways. We hope that the Prize will drive all of the designers to continue their innovations and propel their businesses further," Diet Prada’s Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, council members, said.
Finalists will each receive a financial contribution of AU$70,000 to invest in the development of their capsule collection alongside mentoring, business training and showcasing opportunities. One menswear and one womenswear designer will each receive AU$200,000 at the global final along with guaranteed placement in some of the most important boutiques around the globe that have committed to supporting the award.
The Innovation Award will also be presented to one finalist with a financial contribution of AU$100,000. All International Woolmark Prize finalists will receive sales support and mentoring for commercialisation opportunities.
The International Woolmark Prize is a long-term programme designed to nurture and support designers throughout their career. The 42 designer nominees will attend a workshop hosted by The Woolmark Company to help prepare them for the development and manufacturing of their capsule collection to support with the commercialisation of their collection ideas. Workshops will include detailed presentations by industry experts, with a focus on innovation across fabric development and processing to improve the overall impact of collections on the environment and the wearer to ensure the International Woolmark Prize continues to push the boundaries of global fashion.
"As the International Woolmark Prize continues to evolve, we have restructured our programme to ensure emerging design talent receives the highest level of industry support and guidance," explained The Woolmark Company managing director Stuart McCullough. "This year we invited designers to apply to participate in the programme and this generated an overwhelming number of applicants, from New York, London and Tokyo through to Mexico, Russia and Nigeria. This reinforces our belief that the International Woolmark Prize has no geographical borders that fashion has no boundaries and that Australian Merino wool will remain as relevant to fashion tomorrow as it does today." (RR)
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