Signe Rand Ebbesen shows her work© to judges Daliah Simble (left) and Estelle Williams (right) along with The Woolmark Company’s Peter Ackroyd. PHOTO: James McCauley.
The award celebrates design excellence in fabrics created with 60 per cent or more Merino wool, in forms including printed, knitted, woven or mixed media fabric, with judges looking for designers excelling in the inventive use of wool in textile design.
The prize was judged by Abraham Moon & Sons managing director John Walsh and Roland Mouret head of sourcing and production Daliah Simble and collection development manager Estelle Williams; and was presented by Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture member Maurizio Galante and The Woolmark Company global strategic advisor Peter Ackroyd.
Ms Ebbesen competed against 23 other UK-trained new graduates, with Mr Walsh attributing the young designer’s win to her superb use of texture.
“She has a distinctive style and understanding of the benefits of this natural fibre, which she used to bring her work to life,” Mr Walsh said. “Some of the textures were beautiful and she has also understood the commercial side to her work. She can go far with it.”
Both Ms Williams and Ms Simble agree, saying that it was the commercial aspects of Ms Ebbesen’s designs which really saw her stand out.
“She has thought about the commerciality of her work which is really important, shown by her ability to work to a brief,” Ms Williams said, with her colleague adding “we both loved Signe’s innovative techniques which we at Roland Mouret look for; we would love some of those fabrics at Roland Mouret”.
The Woolmark Company is a Texprint foundation sponsor and prize sponsor of the third annual Woolmark Texprint Award, reaffirming the textile brand’s support of emerging textile designers and fostering this pool of talent. The award has the support of industry experts worldwide and provides a springboard into the industry for the 24 shortlisted designers. For many, their presence at the Première Vision trade show is their first experience of exhibiting and selling their works alongside professional and established designers.
“The Woolmark Company is delighted to continue its work with Texprint, which helps to guide and support the best new design graduates into their professional lives,” Mr Ackroyd said. “This is synonymous with The Woolmark Company’s mission to support new designers especially in their creative, innovative and artistic use of Merino wool.”
As the winner of the Woolmark Texprint Award, Ms Ebbesen was awarded £1,000 in prize money as well as access to training on the benefits and uses of wool through her nearest Woolmark office.