Cottweiler and Gabriela Hearst win 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize
Victoria Beckham was one of the judges wowed by these emerging designers
The Woolmark Company have announced the winners for their annual International Woolmark Prize in Paris. This year, Cottweiler swooped the grand prize for their menswear collection while Gabriela Hearst was triumphant for her womenwear line.
Both designers were awarded AU$100,000 (approx. RM337,370) and will have the opportunity to be stocked in some of the world's biggest fashion retailers such as Harvey Nichols and Hudson Bay Company. The prestigious fashion award is given to emerging designers, one menswear and one womenswear, who demonstrate how they feature Merino wool in their respective collections.
On selecting the winners, Jefferson Hack, CEO and co-founder of Dazed Media said that Cottweiler works with wool "in a highly original way that mixes sports, tailoring, streetwear and fashion." As for womenswear, British Fashion Council Chair Natalie Massenet praised Hearst, saying that "she struck a chord on every level: a passion for wool, its history, and the varied uses of wool."
Every year, the competition receives widespread support from the fashion industry with top fashion designers, editors and retail buyers taking part as judges. This year, Imran Amed, founder and editor of Business of Fashion, and SSENSE co-founder and CEO Rami Atallah were among those judging the menswear finalists, while the womenswear judging panel also included Victoria Beckham and Lanvin creative director Bouchra Jarrar.
Congratulations to the winners! Scroll down to see the who the finalists were for both menswear and womenswear.