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Beyond the Bale : March 2014
4 INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE The quality, versatility and modernity of Merino wool apparel was showcased to the world’s media last month at the final of the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize – the pinnacle of AWI's activities to promote the use of wool in fashion. The International Woolmark Prize, held for the first time last year, is a reincarnation of the award for excellence in design using wool that was created in 1953 by the International Wool Secretariat (IWS) to support emerging designers. That IWS award has an impressive alumni – the following year after it was established, a young Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint The winner of the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize Rahul Mishra of India, with two models wearing his winning designs. FAST FACTS l The modernity and quality of Merino wool apparel was showcased to the world’s media at the final of the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize. l Rahul Mishra from India was announced as the winner of the award at an event held last month during Milan Fashion Week. l The high profile judging panel of the award included Frida Giannini, Franca Sozzani, Tim Blanks, Angelica Cheung, Alexa Chung, Colette Garnsey and representatives from the global IWP retail partners. l An important element of the initiative is the commercialisation of Australian Merino wool products within leading retailers across the world. Laurent, now world famous and iconic designers, won IWS awards for their innovative designs. AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said AWI relaunched the awards last year to demonstrate the key role for Merino wool in the international fashion industry, with the aim to increase the global demand for Australian wool. "This global search for the very best upcoming designers has put Merino wool into the hands and minds of tomorrow's trend setters,” he said. “Their designs and ideas will be seen on catwalks today but will be worn in the streets of Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris and New York for many years to come and this is why the International Woolmark Prize is such an important investment for woolgrowers. “The award is our commitment to supporting the future of the wool in the international fashion industry and we are honoured to have received backing from the global industry by way of our premier retail partners and judges both at the international and regional level. “The competition has gained extraordinary momentum over the past two years, generating a significant interest across the globe. It has evolved into a highly coveted, internationally recognised award. We will continue with, and expand, the award next year to also include a menswear award.” Rahul Mishra was announced as the winner of the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize. The fashion designer from 4 March 2014 BEYOND THE BALE India was presented with the award at an event held on 21 February during Milan Fashion Week. His winning Merino wool collection was based on craftsmanship and his incredible knowledge of techniques and embroidery. "For me, Rahul has won because of his ability to apply his knowledge of embroideries through wool, one of the most versatile fibres with originality in an unexpected way," explained judge Frida Giannini, Gucci's Creative Director. "His interpretation was so delicate and beautiful," said fellow judge Alexa Chung. "I was really moved by Rahul's story. I believe he is well deserving of this award." The designer declared: "I feel like this is a dream and this is giving me new hopes for my future career. This award will change the perception of global fashion in regards to Indian fashion and this is all because of wool – an amazing fibre, the fibre of possibilities." THE COMPETITION After a global search, reaching across 20 countries and involving 48 emerging designers nominated by fashion industry figures in their respective regions, the final five designers (who each won their regional competitions last year and therefore the right to compete at in the final) were:. • ffiXXed – based in Hong Kong, representing Asia • Christopher Esber – from Sydney, representing Australia