Winners Agi & Sam and Teatum Jones, with models.
Agi & Sam and Teatum Jones were today announced as the menswear and womenswear winners, respectively, of the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize British Isles regional final, at an awards event held at One Horse Guards in London.
A judging panel comprising Roland Mouret, Jason Basmajian, Dylan Jones, Sophie Neophitou, Anita Barr, Simon Chilvers and Stuart McCullough selected Agi & Sam as the menswear winner and Teatum Jones as the winner for the womenswear category.
“Agi & Sam are brilliant because they have such an idiosyncratic point of view; they know exactly what they are doing,” commented Dylan Jones, Editor-in-Chief of GQ. Jason Basmajian, Creative Director of Gieves and Hawkes, added, “They’ve demonstrated an inspirational combination of creativity, innovation and commercial sensibility. This is an exciting duo to watch as they develop their brand.”
“What we loved about Teatum Jones winning this prize was their use and development of Merino wool, from their concept to the final garment,” explained Roland Mouret. “It was extraordinary and we thought it was really representative of what Britain’s young designers stand for.”
Agi & Sam commented, “Wool is a strong part of our brand DNA; it’s amazing to get this recognition. We already use wool a lot in our collections because we’ve come to realise that no other fibre can match it in terms of versatility and quality.”
“We are absolutely thrilled about winning this prize,” enthused Teatum Jones, “and what really excites us for the future is the potential of Merino wool, looking at it in a purist and scientific way. Winning the regional award has made us even more motivated to create the most innovative collection we can for the international finals.”
Chosen from amongst the eight most promising talents in British fashion design, both winners gain a financial contribution of AU$50,000 (approximately £24,500 1), plus the opportunity to represent the British Isles and compete in the prestigious international final. The final for menswear will be held in Florence in January 2016, and the womenswear final will be held in New York in February 2016.
For the next six to seven months, the winning designers will be required to develop a capsule collection in Merino wool, to be showcased at one of two extraordinary events that will highlight the six menswear finalists and six womenswear finalists selected from across the globe.
The finalists will compete for the coveted International Woolmark Prize, the winners being awarded an additional AU$100,000 (approximately £49,0001) and the opportunity to be stocked in the most important retailers of the world, including Harvey Nichols (London), 10 Corso Como (Milan, Beijing and Shanghai), Matchesfashion.com (online), Mytheresa.com (online), Saks Fifth Avenue (NYC), Joyce (China), Isetan Mitsukoshi (Japan), Boutique 1 (UAE) and David Jones (Australia).
The Woolmark Company Managing Director Stuart McCullough explains, “The International Woolmark Prize is our commitment to educating the next generation of fashion industry leaders about the extraordinary potential of Merino wool, and we congratulate Agi & Sam and Teatum Jones on their win.”
“With the number of countries represented the largest yet, the International Woolmark Prize is a truly global celebration of emerging talent and most importantly provides the winning designers with a unique opportunity for commercial success on a global scale.”
The Woolmark Company would like to thank the event sponsors MAC, Toni & Guy and Johnstons of Elgin for their support.
1 Based on exchange rate at time of publication
Menswear winners Agi & Sam
Womenswear winners Teatum Jones
Marcia Patmos travelled to the source of Australian Merino wool to launch her winning International Woolmark Prize collection in Australia