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International Woolmark Prize 2020 Judges

The countdown is on until we find out who will win the 2020 International Woolmark Prize global final, to be held at a special event during London Fashion Week. As the 10 finalists are busily putting the final touches on their submissions, a leading panel of industry experts and fashion tastemakers has been compiled to judge the finalists’ collections.


The 2020 International Woolmark Prize judging panel includes:

“The International Woolmark Prize is an institution for the fashion industry, and I am thrilled to participate,” says Artistic Director for Dior Men, Kim Jones. “The competition shines a light on diversity and innovation and I’m very happy to be a part of that.”

The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation

The 2020 International Woolmark Prize will also see the introduction of the inaugural Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, in honour of the late icon and International Woolmark Prize alumnus.

“Karl was always looking for new talent - a rare, encouraging force, instrumental in the development of many young designers.” - Carine Roitfeld

To be presented by Carine Roitfeld, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of CR Fashion Book and close long-time friend and collaborator of Lagerfeld, the award will celebrate one of the ten finalist designers who showcases outstanding creativity and innovation, the same characteristics which led to Lagerfeld’s history-making success.


“What an honour to be the first person to award the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation,” says Carine Roitfeld. “Karl was always looking for new talent - a rare, encouraging force, instrumental in the development of many young designers. In today’s global fashion business, discovering, nurturing, and providing a platform of recognition for innovating creatives is absolutely crucial.”

For the last 40 years, until his passing on 19 February 2019, Karl Lagerfeld was the leading personality of the fashion world. Referred to as Kaiser Karl in response to his German background and upbringing, Lagerfeld’s name first emerged with his win in the coat category of the International Wool Secretariat fashion design competition (later to become the International Woolmark Prize) in 1954 with a button-down, boat-neck yellow wool coat. The prize, in its earliest years, was judged by none other than Pierre Balmain. “It’s an eye-opener because you can’t believe someone so young could design something so revolutionary in the mid-50s,” explained the curator Rein Wolfs in The Guardian.

Now in its eighth year, the International Woolmark Prize remains the leading talent incubation program, crossing borders and cultures to discover, nurture and celebrate outstanding talents who showcase the beauty and versatility of Merino wool. As the prize continues to evolve, the 2020 finalists will present fully traceable collections, adding transparency to the supply chain. One overall winner will receive AU$200,000 and one designer will receive AU$100,000 for the inaugural Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation.