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Woolmark's Wool Runway witnesses stellar design innovation

Dec '18
L-R: Anam Husain from NIFT Delhi, Nishant Raj from NID Ahmedabad, and Franziska Knitsch from Pearl Academy Rajouri. Courtesy: Woolmark
L-R: Anam Husain from NIFT Delhi, Nishant Raj from NID Ahmedabad, and Franziska Knitsch from Pearl Academy Rajouri. Courtesy: Woolmark

The third edition of Wool Runway—a fashion design competition celebrating the best emerging talent from design campuses across India—an initiative by The Woolmark Company, a subsidiary of Australian Wool Innovation, was held in Mumbai last week. The winner, Nishant Raj from National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad was awarded prize money of ₹1,20,000.

Raj will also be given the opportunity of a portfolio shoot of the winning garment by Vogue.

The second and third places were bagged by Anam Husain from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi and Franziska Knitsch from Pearl Academy, Rajouri Garden, respectively. They were awarded prize money of ₹85,000 and ₹60,000, respectively.

A first of its kind competition, Wool Runway aims to not only raise awareness, but also educate the next generation of wool consumers and inspire emerging fashion designers to work with Merino wool.

It invites tertiary students to design an outfit, made from the premium fibre Merino wool.

Following the success of the previous two years awards, Wool Runway 2018 brought together students from 18 leading design campuses that included NIFT (Mumbai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Shillong, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Kannur, Kangra and Kolkata campuses), NID (Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar campuses) and Pearl Academy (Mumbai, Delhi-Noida, Rajouri Garden and Jaipur campuses).

This year’s event had extraordinary participation from more than 195 students, with 15 making it to the final round selected by mentor Gautam Vazirani (IMG Reliance) and the respective student teacher consultants from each institute.

The panel of industry experts including Kishor Bhatia, Director-Product, Raymond Fine Fabrics; Rina Singh, Fashion Designer; Priyanka Kapadia, Senior Fashion Editor, Vogue India; Partha Sinha, Creative Head, Louis Philippe and Luxor; Deepshika Khanna, Creative Head, Goodearth; and Rajat Bhattacharya, International Trainer in Luxury & Retail; judged the final designs by the students.

The final designs were displayed as live installations, giving the audience a first-hand look at the versatility of Merino wool. The students drew inspiration from various elements and topics close to their heart such as the blooming magnolia flower, Mumbai’s dhobi ghat and sustainable fashion to name a few.

“The designs were so unique and made with so much character, it’s unbelievable that these are students and not professionals,” said The Woolmark Company country manager India, Dilip Gianchandani. “The maturity they showed in working with Merino wool is astounding. We believe in encouraging consumers to learn the benefits of Merino wool, and Wool Runway does that at an amateur level. Our constant yearning is to encourage talent and give them a platform in the industry while working with this luxurious fibre—Merino wool. This is the third year we have held Wool Runway and we are excited about the response from both students and colleges.”

“I am really excited to see such promising young talent,” added Raymond Fine Fabrics Director-Product, Kishor Bhatia. “I have always believed in constant innovation with global benchmarking to provide great value proposition to customers. I was extremely heartened to see the students’ hard work and imagination integrate into a great product synonymous with today’s contemporary fashion.” (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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