SIKI IM and Tanya Taylor were today announced as the menswear and womenswear winners, respectively, of the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize USA regional final, at an awards event held at Milk Studios in New York.
A judging panel comprising Ariel Foxman, Editor-in-Chief, InStyle ; Colleen Sherin, Vice President, Senior Fashion Director, Saks Fifth Avenue; Eric Jennings, Vice President & Fashion Director Menswear, Home, Food & Gifts, Saks Fifth Avenue; Francisco Costa, Women’s Creative Director, Calvin Klein Collection; John Varvatos, Chairman, John Varvatos; Malcolm Carfrae, Global Head of Communications, Public Relations and Media, Ralph Lauren; Michelle Lee, Director of Americas for The Woolmark Company, Stefano Tonchi, Editor-in-Chief, W Magazine and Steven Kolb, CEO, CFDA; selected the two winners.
John Varvatos, Chairman, John Varvatos, commented that: “The International Woolmark Prize is all about innovation. Siki is an out of the box thinker. He doesn’t walk the same path as everyone else and he truly understands the functionality and potential of Merino wool.”
Siki Im said after winning the prize, “Many thanks to The Woolmark Company for their support of emerging designers and for giving all of us a platform to reach an international audience.”
Francisco Costa, Women’s Creative Director, Calvin Klein Collection said about Tanya Taylor’s win, “Innovation was evident in all aspects of the collection - from fabric choices to overall creativity. It was free-spirited, happy and playful. I especially loved the prints and the variety of knits.”
Tanya Taylor replied, “It was such an honour to be nominated by The Woolmark Company and to be chosen to represent the US for the women's designer challenge. To be announced as the winner by Francisco Costa is a dream. I'm thrilled and so looking forward to February and meeting the global finalists.”
Chosen from amongst the 10 most promising talents in USA fashion design, both winners gain a financial contribution of AU$50,000 (US$37,110), plus the opportunity to represent the USA 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 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 (US$74,210) 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 – USA, Joyce – China, Isetan Mitsukoshi – Japan, Boutique 1 – UAE and David Jones – Australia.
The Woolmark Company Managing Director Stuart McCullough explained: “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 SIKI IM and Tanya Taylor 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 event was sponsored by MAC, label.m and Pernod Ricard.