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Beyond the Bale : September 2016
4 OFF FARM The 12 emerging design talents to compete in the global finals of the International Woolmark Prize have been selected at regional competitions across the world, with events in: Asia; Australia & New Zealand; British Isles; Europe; India, Pakistan & the Middle East; and the USA. The expansion this year of the global initiative into 62 countries signifies the prize’s strength and its impact on the fashion industry. It remains AWI’s most successful marketing strategy and provides design talent across the globe with the opportunity to be stocked in the world’s most influential retailers. The International Woolmark Prize aims to increase the global demand for Australian Merino wool, by promoting the versatility of the fibre and aligning young talent with commercial opportunities and ongoing mentorship from industry heavyweights. New demand is generated not only from the loyalty to wool from the designers, but also from consumers who are experiencing the immediate presence of Woolmark-branded apparel in the world’s best boutiques and online retailers. Media coverage in the form of print, digital and social has continued to grow since the prize’s launch in 2012. Global reach for the 2015/16 financial year was 426 million impressions on Twitter, 56.5 million impressions on Facebook and an editorial value worth $40.85 million. In the Australia & New Zealand regional final held in Sydney, Australia scooped the pool with menswear winner Ex Infinitas and womenswear winner macgraw progressing through to the global finals to be held in January in London and Paris. Ex Infinitas designer Lukas Vincent fused surf culture with tailoring in an innovative way, using wool in different weights and textures to offer a modern take on menswear. "I'm super excited to win the International Woolmark Prize," said Lukas Vincent. "It means so much for my business to continue pushing Australian fashion not only in Australia but internationally as well.” macgraw duo – Beth and Tessa MacGraw - showed a two-piece look made up of a wool overcoat with hand embroidered Merino wool flowers, and a wool dress. “It’s been an absolute dream; it’s a dream come true and we are absolutely elated,” Beth and Tessa MacGraw said after their win. “We are blown away and it means a lot to us. We’re ready to show the world what we’ve got.” With a judging panel comprising a mix of magazine editors, David Jones representatives and international fashion designer Jason Wu, the regional final was the first taste of critical industry mentorship for many of the nominees. “Our esteemed judging panels and mentors will no doubt provide expert advice to each of the nominees which is invaluable at this stage of their careers,” said AWI CEO Stuart McCullough. “The continued support from industry heavyweights, governing bodies and the world’s most influential retailers cements the importance of the International Woolmark Prize on the world stage. “The award continues to highlight the most innovative and modern interpretations of Australian wool at the hands of the world’s most promising design talents.” MORE INFORMATION www.woolmarkprize.com As the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize regional finals wrap up, we take a look at which emerging design talents will compete at the global finals in January and why the competition remains important for the Australian wool industry. INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE REGIONAL FINALS The designers who participated in the Australia & New Zealand regional final of the International Woolmark Prize. Back: Daniel Avakian, Beth & Tessa Macgraw, Kacey Devlin, Georgia Currie, Sean Tran, Grace Wood, Madeleine Harman, Jessica Grubiša, Lucilla Gray, Roopa Pemmaraju, Kumar Swain Sudhir. Front: Jake Chen, Jason Alexander Pang, Chris Ran Lin, Lukas Vincent.
In the Shops - September 2016