Europe’s Four Finalists for the International Woolmark Prize Revealed  

GOING FOR GOLD: Four of the 12 global finalists for the 2018/19 International Woolmark prize were announced in London on Tuesday, Daniel W. Fletcher from U.K.; Nicholas Daley from U.K.; Edward Crutchley from U.K. and Cmmn Swdn from Sweden; and they will go on to compete for the final award which will be held in London in February.
They join the first four finalists whose names were announced earlier this month in Hong Kong: They are Zhi Chen of I-Am-Chen from China; Mooyeol Lee of Youser from South Korea; Yohei Ohno from Japan and Angel Chen from China.
The remaining four finalists will be revealed later this month in New York.
“Now in its seventh year the International Woolmark Prize has evolved into one of the biggest fashion awards of its caliber, and so we have restructured the program to ensure our nominees and finalists receive the highest level of industry support and guidance,” said Stuart McCullough, managing director of The Woolmark Company.
The prize showcases international young talent whose designs highlight the versatility of merino wool. Each of the finalists will be awarded $ 52,100, and over the course of the next few months, they’ll work on producing a capsule merino wool collection. Each collection will

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Woolmark Prize Asia Semifinal Winners Named

HONG KONG — It’s certainly intimidating for a young fashion designer to speak in front of a roomful of editors, buyers and industry heavyweights, and doubly so if they cannot speak English. That was predicament facing two of the four winners named at the Woolmark Prize Hong Kong 2018/19 semifinals on Thursday.
But both of the non-English speakers managed to find the words at a dinner at Aberdeen Street Social, where designers Zhi Chen of I-Am-Chen, Mooyeol Lee of Youser, and Yohei Ohno and Angel Chen, each of whom have eponymous labels, were chosen to move on to the next round of the global competition.
“I never expected this, so I’m just surprised now. Thank you so much,” Japanese designer Yohei Ohno told the crowd with a stunned laugh. Earlier in the day, Ohno had conducted interviews accompanied by an interpreter.
Mooyeol Lee, who heads up South Korean label Youser, managed to say: “I never expected this honor, so thank you so much.” Lee had no interpreter, so to speak to the press about his brand he’d come equipped with a written statement in English.
Lee said winning felt like a dream, and his head is already swimming with ideas for the finals, which will

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Judges Revealed for International Woolmark Prize Global Final

MILAN — The International Woolmark Prize Tuesday revealed its judges for the global final, taking place Jan. 9 in Florence during the men’s wear international trade show Pitti Uomo.
The jury will include designers Phillip Lim and Manish Malhotra; Fashion Tech Lab founder and chief executive officer Miroslava Duma; Eco-Age founder Livia Firth; Stuart McCullough, managing director of The Woolmark Company; Emanuele Farneti and Nonita Kalra, editors-in-chief of Vogue Italia and Harper’s Bazaar India, respectively; model and actress Amber Valletta; Vogue.com’s chief critic Sarah Mower; Pitti Immagine tutorship director Riccardo Vannetti; Elizabeth Von Guttman, founder of System Magazine and Ever Manifesto; and Julie Davies, general manager processing innovation and education extension at Australian Wool Innovation.
The final will combine men’s wear and women’s wear categories with two winners who will receive 200,000 Australian dollars, or $ 153,400, to invest in the development of their businesses and gain the opportunity to have their collections distributed by prominent retailers, such as Harvey Nichols in the U.K, L’Eclaireur in Paris and Boon the Shop in South Korea.
The finalists in the men’s wear category are Sixlee from Asia; Blairarchibald from Australia and New Zealand; Matthew Miller from Great Britain; L’Homme Rouge from Europe; Antar Agni from India and

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Woolmark and Facetasm Team for Capsule Collections

A WOOL PAIR: Facetasm and the Woolmark Company are teaming for two capsule collections, kicking off a relationship between the Japanese brand and textile company intended to last beyond the collaboration and foster ties between the Australian wool industry and Japan’s fashion sector.
Facetasm designer and founder Hiromichi Ochiai, who visited Australia to learn about merino wool production, will become the first “global wool ambassador from Japan,” said Woolmark managing director Stuart McCullough in a statement. McCullough noted that the country represents an important market in terms of creativity and quality, and that the partnership was meant to expand merino wool “beyond traditional tailoring.”
“I believe merino wool is an essential ingredient for the brand to move onto the next step in its creation,” said Ochiai, who spent time with sheep farmers on his visit. The first capsule collection will be shown in January in Paris.

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Woolmark Co. Joins Forces With the Fashion Tech Lab for Innovation Award

WOOLMARK POWERS UP: As the bonds between fashion and technology get stronger, the Woolmark Co. has partnered with the Fashion Tech Lab for a new prize.
Twelve finalists that will be chosen for the Innovation Award powered by Fashion Tech Lab, which will be given to the collection with the most innovative and creative wool fabrication, process or development. The honor is tied to the Woolmark Co.’s International Woolmark Prize. The winner will also exemplify the most exciting approach to help reduce its social and environmental footprint.
Woolmark partnered with Fashion Tech Lab to try to bridge the gap between new technologies, sustainable innovations and luxury fashion and to educate and empower finalists through a dedicated mentorship program. The Woolmark Co.’s managing director Stuart McCullough said, “The ultimate aim of this exciting partnership is to give these 12 finalists — our future ambassadors — the best opportunity to enhance their business through innovation and sustainable processes, so they can meet the discerning needs of tomorrow’s customer. As the award continues to evolve, our aim is to encourage designers to think beyond today and embrace future technologies, which will ultimately provide a positive impact for tomorrow.”
The Fashion Tech Lab is a hybrid platform

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Bodice, Antar-Agni Win Regional Awards for Woolmark Prize

Indian designers won the women’s and men’s wear awards for the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East region of the International Woolmark Prize.
Ruchika Sachdeva, whose label Bodice won the women’s wear award, and Ujjawal Dubey, whose label Antar-Agni won in the men’s wear category, both emphasized wool’s weave and the fabric itself, in their respective collections.
“India has an advantage in that it is such a treasure trove. The handspun merino wool also lends us an abundance of techniques. The tradition of craft available for centuries adds to that,” Sachdeva, who started Bodice six years ago, told WWD.
The nominees for the Indian Subcontinent and Middle East included, for men’s wear Antar-Agni – India; Dhruv Kapoor – India; Theorem – India; Varoin Marwah – Dubai, and Ziggi Men’s Wear – Pakistan. For women’s wear, the nominees were Bodice – India; Hemang Agrawal – India; Matar – Bahrain; Khadija Rahman – Pakistan; Nour Najem – Lebanon; Timi Hayek – Lebanon; Péro – India, and Zonia Anwaar – Pakistan.
While wool has not really been a traditional fabric in India, it has made major inroads into the market in recent years and designers have been working their way past the mental block created by the subcontinent’s

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Rochambeau Taps Nike, Avery Dennison and Others for Woolmark Prize Collection

Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper, the design team behind New York-based men’s wear brand Rochambeau, looked to multiple resources to help them compete at the highest level for the 2016-17 International Woolmark Prize contest, which will be awarded in Paris on  Monday,  Jan. 23.
Rochambeau, who won the U.S. Woolmark prize last July along with women’s designer Gabriela Hearst, will compete against MÜNN from Asia, Ex Infinitas from Australia, Cottweiler from Britain, Tonsure from Europe and Bounipun from India.
Their winning look for the U.S. competition, which was influenced by the late artist Dash Snow, consisted of a boxer short made from wool suit fabric, a hand-waxed wool vest that looked like trompe’l’oeil leather, a wool hat and trousers. Chandler hopes to build on that with a larger collection that’s been created with help from Nike, Avery Dennison, Chromatic, Larsson and Jennings, Evrythng and Albertus Swanepoel. Rochambeau also worked with fabric mills including Dashing Tweeds, American Woolen, Aurotex, Steady Tex and Kendor Fabrics.
“We want to continue the narrative we created this past summer by bringing on great partners and innovating with wool,” said Chandler, who added that the entire line was created in New York.
Rochambeau, a 2016 Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist that

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International Woolmark Prize Selects 12 Global Finalists

The 2015-16 International Woolmark Prize global finalists have all been decided.
The six men’s wear finalists will compete in January at Pitti Uomo in Florence, while the six women’s wear finalists will face off in New York in February.
The six men’s wear nominees are Munsoo Kwon (Asia); P. Johnson (Australia); Agi & Sam (British Isles), Jonathan Christopher (Europe) Suketdhir (India, Pakistan and Middle East), and Siki Im (U.S.).
The six women’s wear nominees are J Koo (Asia), Bianca Spender (Australia), Teatum Jones (British Isles), Nanna van Blaaderen (Europe), Taller Marmo (India, Pakistan and Middle East), and Tanya Taylor (U.S.).
“The International Woolmark Prize is a truly global celebration of emerging talent,” said Stuart McCullough, managing director of The Woolmark Co. “The competition not only allows the participating designers to share their vision on the world’s stage, it provides them with the opportunity for far-reaching commercial success.”
Ultimately, the two winners will receive $ 100,000 Australian dollars, or about $ 73,000 at current exchange rate and the opportunity to have their collection carried in Harvey Nichols in London; 10 Corso Como in Milan, Beijing and Shanghai; Matchesfashion.com; Mytheresa.com; Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S.; Joyce in China; Isetan Mitsukoshi in Japan; Boutique 1 in the United Arab

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U.S. Finalists Vie for Regional Woolmark Prize

On Tuesday, the two U.S. winners of the 2015-16 regional Woolmark Prize will be selected at Milk Studios Penthouse in New York.
Five women’s wear and five men’s wear designers will compete for the two spots and the opportunity to participate in the international finals. One men’s wear and one women’s wear designer will be selected by a jury based on sketches of a six-piece merino wool capsule collection, with one garment actually produced. The two winners will receive a financial contribution of 50,000 Australian dollars, or about $ 37,000 at the current exchange rate, toward their next collection.
In addition to New York, five other regional competitions take place in London, Shanghai, Sydney, British Isles, Dubai, and Antwerp, Belgium. Two winners from each region will go on to compete in the international finals. The international men’s wear final will be held at Pitti Uomo in Florence in January, and the six women’s wear finalists will meet in New York in February.
The two international winners will receive $ 100,000 Australian dollars, or about $ 74,200, each and the opportunity to have their collection carried in Harvey Nichols in London; 10 Corso Como in Milan, Beijing and Shanghai; Matchesfashion.com; Mytheresa.com; Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S.;

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