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Events & Media

International Woolmark Prize

The International Woolmark Prize celebrates outstanding fashion talents from around the globe who showcase the beauty and versatility of Merino wool. It is the world’s most prestigious award for rising fashion stars.

Finalists 2018/19

First held in 1953 as an initiative of the International Wool Secretariat, the award was won the following year by iconic fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. Today, the International Woolmark Prize continues to recognise design excellence using Australian Merino wool. The prize crosses borders and cultures to spotlight emerging fashion talent from hotspots in more than 60 countries before a who’s who of the international fashion industry. By putting wool in the hands of the world’s leading innovators, the International Woolmark Prize challenges them to achieve greatness in keeping with The Woolmark Company’s tradition of supporting design excellence.

International Woolmark Prize

Shop the winning womenswear

The innovative capsule collection that won India-based label BODICE STUDIO the 2017/18 International Woolmark Prize will be launched into the world’s leading boutiques from this July, via the International Woolmark Prize retail partner network. In the collection, natural materials such as virgin wool, plant dyes and Ayurvedic herbs are united with cutting edge technology. Indian handloom sits alongside state-of-the-art mill fabrics.

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International Woolmark Prize

Shop the winning menswear

“Winning the International Woolmark Prize has been an incredible journey,” explains designer Matthew Miller. “It has helped in cementing my name as a global innovative designer and gain access to the best retailers and stores in the world.” The Matthew Miller collection takes inspiration from a quote by German industrial designer, Dieter Rams: ‘Form follows function’. Taking on this philosophy, outerwear features belts specifically designed to be able to be detached from the garment and reattached, turning it into an accessory.

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The International Woolmark Prize judging panel comprises some of the fashion industry’s brightest stars, including Victoria Beckham and Dame Natalie Massanet DBE, among others. 

More than 300 emerging fashion designers from across 46 countries applied to take part in this year’s International Woolmark Prize. The most promising 42 designers, who showcased creativity, originality of design, innovation and brand recognition, have now been nominated by the Advisory Council to present their brand to a panel of experts at one of three semi-final events in July. Semi-finals will be held around the world, with nominees invited to pitch to an esteemed 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 International Woolmark Prize global final to be held at an international fashion week in early 2019.

Both the global menswear and womenswear winners will not only receive further financial contribution but also the chance to have their Merino wool capsule collection commercialised and sold in the world’s top boutiques and department stores through the International Woolmark Prize’s extensive retail partner network. The Innovation Award also grants one designer a financial contribution and retail support.

Equally crucial is the trade partner program that connects designers with the best wool suppliers, expert advisors, judging panels and insightful mentors who provide guidance along the way. Through The Woolmark Company’s global network, partnerships are secured with key spinners and weavers to assist designers during the formative stages of their business and ensure a dynamic future for the fashion industry.

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