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Beyond the Bale : June 2017
AN ENDURING RELATIONSHIP WITH WOOL INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE NEW INNOVATION AWARD AWI is reinforcing its commitment to supporting emerging design talent by this year enhancing the structure of the competition. A newly introduced Innovation Award has been created to celebrate outstanding creative and innovative fabric or yarn development in wool. The new award aims to inspire the designer finalists to be more experimental when developing fabric or yarn for their final collections, and shines a spotlight on the textile mills assisting in developing the innovative wool fabric and yarn. The designer who wins the Innovation Award will be granted $100,000 as well as being presented with commercial opportunities. The textile mill responsible for the exciting development will also be promoted via The Woolmark Company’s global trade promotion program with benefits including global trade advertising, being featured in The Wool Lab sourcing guide and highlighted within The Woolmark Company’s stand at global trade shows. “Each year, I am truly amazed with what our finalists present to the judges. Just when you might think you’ve seen it all, along comes an exciting new fabric or innovative new yarn, and that’s why we have established the Innovation Award,” explains AWI CEO Stuart McCullough. “It not only keeps competition fierce but it also allows for our prestigious trade partners to get global recognition and ultimately increases the market share of wool. The Innovation Award also provides AWI with another opportunity for its subsidiary, The Woolmark Company, to engage and celebrate the work of our trade partners.” In another change to the International Woolmark Prize this year, each of the recently announced 65 global nominees competing in the six regional events will receive $2,000 to assist in the development of their submission piece, ahead of the regional finals to be held in Sydney, London, Milan, New York, Seoul and Dubai in July and August. Each regional menswear and womenswear winner will receive $70,000 to go towards their final collection. Prize money for the two eventual winners has also increased. “Due to increasing pressures on young designers, we have restructured our program spend with a greater focus on the design talent and our partners,” Mr McCullough said. 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. 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. The award also engages a global community of consumers across social media, with conversation about the award and the benefits of wool. The 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize reached more than 129 million people across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. MORE INFORMATION www.woolmarkprize.com This year, the International Woolmark Prize has launched a new Innovation Award, shining a spotlight on the textile mills who develop innovative wool fabric and yarns for the global designers. RAHUL MISHRA – 2013/14 WINNER Since winning the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize competition, Indian designer Rahul Mishra has launched many collections showcasing Australian Merino wool. His Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, which he launched at the prestigious Paris Fashion Week highlighted exquisite hand-embroidered Australian Merino wool eveningwear that has fast become synonymous with the Rahul Mishra brand. The collection, which weaves ancient techniques with modern silhouettes, was inspired by the birth of his first daughter, and was titled It Felt Love. TEATUM JONES – 2015/16 WOMENSWEAR WINNER The designers at London Fashion Week in February breathed freshness into knitwear, playing with its proportions and the ways it can be worn. Teatum Jones is masterful in its approach to knitwear, having won last year’s International Woolmark Prize for the designers’ interest in pushing the boundaries of the form. This Autumn/ Winter 2017 season, the British design duo took those ideas to new heights, fusing colours (off white and navy, for example) with knits (waffle with twilled stripe stitches) in off-the-shoulder and three-dimensional sweaters. (TOP PHOTO) The nominees to compete in the Australian and New Zealand regional final of the 2017/18 International Woolmark Prize in August: Thomas Puttick (womenswear), Chris Ran Lin (menswear), Elissa McGowan (womenswear), Blair Archibald (menswear), Jessica Grubiša and Madeleine Harman of Harman Grubiša (womenswear), and Jason Alexander Pang of AMXANDER (menswear). AdesignfromRahulMishraatParisFashionWeekinMarch2016.AdesignfromTeatumJonesatLondonFashionWeekinFebruary. 20 OFF FARM