Education and support for the new generation of fashion professionals are amongst the top priorities for the company and for the Australian wool industry, which has played a prominent role alongside the creative avant-garde for more than 60 years.
The first step and most prestigious example of such a commitment is the International Woolmark Prize, established in 1954 when the award went to two very young figures that would go on to radically change the concept of style and fashion: Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. The Prize has been relaunched in 2012, boosting its international leverage, to showcase the creativity of the most promising designers from all over the world and the outstanding qualities of wool, one of the most refined and versatile materials in the world.
The Festival de Hyères adds another piece to the puzzle and allows the company to increase awareness and appreciation in favour of the fibre amongst the fashion designers involved: Henning Jurke, Tomas Berzins & Victoria Feldman, Xing Su – these designers used wool in their creations – and Camille Kunz, Yvonne Poei-Yie Kwok, Xénia Lucie Laffely, Satu Maaranen, Marion de Raucourt, Damien Ravn, Shanshan Ruan.
Satu Maaranen (above left) won the Festival with Grand Prix de la Jury
Camille Kunz (above middle) won the Chloe award
Shanshan Ruan (above right) was awarded recognition given by the public
The winning designers will receive support in product development and discover The Wool Lab, a trend book and sourcing guide to the best wool fabrics and yarns, created by The Woolmark Company to provide designers with inspiration, help them find suppliers and choose materials for their collections.
The festival is also the occasion to reinforce the role of the company and of the Australian wool industry within the French fashion and textile system, where the event is one of the key appointments for professionals and media.
For the second year, the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and the Villa Noailles (Hyères) invited the public to a live broadcast of the 28th Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography fashion show at the Palais de Tokyo, with the support of The Woolmark Company and the Galeries Lafayette Group.