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Beyond the Bale : March 2017
INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE America’s Gabriela Hearst and the UK’s COTTWEILER have won the 2016/17 global final of the International Woolmark Prize for womenswear and menswear respectively. For the first time, womenswear and menswear were celebrated together at one event, held against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. “Paris has always been a key market for wool,” explains AWI CEO Stuart McCullough. “It is not only home to some of the world’s most iconic luxury fashion houses, but also to some of the world most fashion-forward, savvy consumers. Bringing the International Woolmark Prize back to Paris shines the spotlight on fashion’s next generation, and I congratulate both COTTWEILER and Gabriela Hearst on their well-deserved wins.” Connecting the world’s leading fashion designers with Australian Merino wool is extremely important due to the enormous influence these designers have in setting global textile trends for mainstream retail brands. Gabriela Hearst representing the USA, and design duo Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell of COTTWEILER representing the British Isles, won the womenswear and menswear awards respectively at this year’s final, held in the key market of Paris. The International Woolmark Prize generates long-term incremental demand for Australian Merino wool by connecting emerging designers, emerging markets and consumers with Australia's versatile natural fibre. 2016/17 WINNERS ANNOUNCED A star-studded judging panel, including fashion designer Victoria Beckham, British Fashion Council Chair Dame Natalie Massenet DBE, Founder and CEO Business of Fashion Imran Amed and a key group of retail buyers from the world’s most important retailers, selected the two winners. “The International Woolmark Prize gives a huge opportunity to young designers globally,” explained Victoria Beckham. “It shows how much you can do with wool as a designer.” Both COTTWEILER and Gabriela Hearst will each receive AU$100,000 to support the development of their business. They will also receive ongoing industry mentor support, Woolmark certification for their winning collection and the opportunity to be stocked in some of the world's most prestigious department stores and boutiques. These include Boutique 1, Boon the Shop, David Jones, Harvey Nichols, Hudson’s Bay Company, Isetan, Lane Crawford, LECLAIREUR, mytheresa.com, The Papilion and ssense.com. All finalists’ collections will also become available for wholesale purchase via Ordre.com. WOMENSWEAR: GABRIELA HEARST Womenswear winner Gabriela Hearst was praised for her technical innovation and quality craftsmanship. “I was very much in support of Gabriela,” said Victoria Beckham. “For me, she is the worthy winner. I love what she does and she's clearly very talented. I like her eye, she has great product and she’s a strong woman. I have a huge amount of respect for her. I’m proud and honoured to get involved in this and help make this possible for her.” British Fashion Council Chair Dame Natalie Massenet DBE echoed this sentiment, saying: “We picked Gabriela because we thought she struck a chord on every level: a passion for wool, its history, and the varied uses of wool. We feel that she will have an enormous future and will be great spokesperson for wool.” Born in Uruguay, the New York-based designer grew up on a sheep farm and believes in the traditional values of quality. Using ultrafine 14.5 micron Merino wool for luxurious knitwear, through to 21.5 micron Models wearing the winning womenswear designs of Gabriela Hearst. Models wearing the winning menswear designs of COTTWEILER. 12 OFF FARM
In the Shops - March 2017