Christian Wijnants wins 2013 International Woolmark PrizePrint
International Woolmark Prize winner Christian Wijnants after taking out the award. Click here to view Wijnants' IWP lookbook (pdf 143Kb).
Christian Wijnants was announced the winner of the 2013 International Woolmark Prize, during the final award event held at the ME Hotel.
Natalie Massenet, Chairman of the British Fashion Council opened the event; a judging panel including Victoria Beckham, Donatella Versace, Diane von Furstenberg, Franca Sozzani and Tim Blanks selected the winner.
“Christian invented a new shape and made it possible with an industrial production process,” explained Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue. “His designs are flattering, feminine and sexy, a modern interpretation of wool.”
The Woolmark Company re-launched the International Woolmark Prize this year to help promote outstanding design talent from around the world, and through its design innovations inspire and educate consumers on the natural beauty of Merino wool.
Seventeen of the most talented European designers vied for the award today including Andrea Incontri, Andrea Pompilio, Anthony Vaccarello, Co/Te Italy, Hana Zarubova, House of Dagmar, Ipek Arnas, James Long, Jan Taminiau, Maria Barros, JW Anderson, Michael Sontag, Moses Nieto, Nina Skarra, Niyazi Erdogan, Olympis Le-Tan, and Zdenka Imreczeova.
Christian Wijnants was selected as the winner by iconic industry figures: Alber Elbaz - Artistic Director for Lanvin; Alexandra Schulman – Editor Vogue UK; Christiane Arp – Editor Vogue Germany; Dean & Dan Caten – DSQUARED2, Giles Deacon, and Tim Blanks – Editor at Large Style.com.
Alber Elbaz said, “Christian’s work was right for the project, it was about knitwear, construction and technique”.
“The International Woolmark Prize has generated worldwide attention as more partners, retailers and media align themselves and their brands to help promote the outstanding talent that has been sourced from around the world,” explained Stuart McCullough, CEO of Australian Wool Innovation, owners of The Woolmark Company.
“It has been a tough decision today and we look forward to supporting and working with Christian Wijnants in the lead up to the finals in February where they have the chance to be awarded with the once in a lifetime opportunities that are on offer for the winner of the International Woolmark Prize".
Christiane Arp on July’s judging, “Today it was wonderful to see that Merino wool is such an emotional fibre; we saw it in so many ways it can be used”.
There are five regional competitions - USA, Europe, China, Australia and India – more than 70 nominees across 15 countries began the journey in 2012 which will come down to one designer as judged by the most important and influential fashion industry representatives across the globe.
The winners of each regional competition receive a financial grant and will travel to London courtesy of The Woolmark Company to London Fashion Week in February 2013 where they will present an entire capsule collection of Australian Merino wool and an international winner will be selected.
The international winner will have his/her designs stocked by leading global retailers including Bergdorf Goodman in the USA, Harvey Nichols in the UK, 10 Corso Como in Italy, Joyce in China, Eickoff in Germany and David Jones in Australia.
“I am very pleased and honoured for the respect I have received from the judges… We are human beings and it’s important for us to stay true to the natural fibre and what nature has to offer,” said Winjants.
Click here to see Vogue's coverage of the IWP European finals.
Christian Wijnants is a 34-year-old designer based in Antwerp, Belgium. After graduating in 2000 from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, he went on to win the Grand Prix at Festival de Hyeres in France.
Following this he started selling his collections in-store at Colette in Paris, Pineal Eye in London, Via Bus Stop in Tokyo and Henri Bendel in New York.
After working as creative assistant for Dries Van Noten in Antwerp and Angelo Tarlazzi in Paris, he launched his own brand.
His collections have been presented during Paris fashion week for more than 18 seasons and are sold in more than 60 stores across the world.
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