Woolmark has unveiled the expert advisory council that will pick the finalists for the International Woolmark Prize final, which is expected to take place in early 2020.
The council features 16 industry names including designer Manish Arora, stylist Kate Young, Eco-Age co-founder and creative director Livia Firth, Nelson Mui, merchandising director of fashion at Lane Crawford, Vogue critic, Sarah Mower, and Comme Moi founder Lu Yan.
“The International Woolmark Prize is a fashion institution that nurtures emerging talent and gives designers a global platform to help grow their businesses,” said Eco-Age founder and creative director Livia Firth in a statement. “Each year we see designers from around the world bring their unique vision and innovative methods to reimagine the possibilities of Australian Merino wool in a more sustainable way. I am proud to support this incredible awards programme and look forward to meeting the finalists, seeing their wool creations in 2020, learn from them and get inspired even more.”
The 2019/20 edition of the International Woolmark Prize has attracted more than 300 applications from across the world and the 10 finalists, picked by the council will be announced in October 2019.
Other members of the council include British fashion commentator, Colin McDowell, Christine Arp, editor-in-chief of Vogue Germany, Floriane de Saint Pierre, Christine Centenera, fashion director of Vogue Australia, and co-founder of Wardrobe.NYC, Tim Blanks, editor-at-large at Business of Fashion, photographer Fabien Montique, Gert Jonkers, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Fantastic Man, Chizuru Muko, editor-in-chief of WWD Japan, Sara Sozzani Maino, deputy editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and Alison Veness, editor of 10 & 10 Men Australia and creative director-at-large of Vogue Australia.
Now in its eighth year, the International Woolmark Prize has an alumni of more than 400 designers and industry members, and this year attracted submissions from nearly 50 countries, from the UK, France, the US, Italy and Australia, according to Woolmark, as well as first-time entrants from Peru, Ecuador, Hungry and Armenia.
In February, Woolmark named British fashion designer Edward Crutchley and New York-based label Colovos as the winners of the 2018/19 International Woolmark Prize at a ceremony during London Fashion Week. Crutchley, who has a unisex label, impressed with his “innate understanding and appreciation of artisanal textiles” stated Woolmark and was awarded the International Woolmark Prize for menswear, as well as the Innovation Award, while Colovos won in the womenswear award.
Both Crutchley and Colovos were awarded 200,000 Australian dollars, to help support the development of their business, with Crutchley awarded an additional 100,000 Australian dollars for winning the Innovation Award. Both winning labels also receive ongoing industry mentor support, as well as Woolmark certification for their winning collection and the opportunity to be stocked in some of the world’s most prestigious department stores and boutiques, including Harvey Nichols, Lane Crawford, Hudson’s Bay, David Jones and online at MyTheresa.com.
Image: courtesy of Woolmark