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Industry experts select 2021 Woolmark Prize Finalists

Naomi Campbell, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson and Laura Brown join the 2021 Woolmark Prize Advisory Council to select the best new designers from around the world.

The International Woolmark Prize not only brings together the best new designers from around the world, but also industry leaders whose vision for fashion is forward-thinking, innovative and inclusive. Spanning the fields of publishing, consulting, recruiting, writing, styling, design, activism, and more, these leaders have committed to devoting their time and energy to nurture the next generation, beginning with independently voting for their top picks from a group of 380 applications.

This is the International Woolmark Prize Advisory Council for 2021:

Now more so than ever, in these incredibly challenging times for our industry, we must continue to support and nurture the emerging voices in fashion design. They are the future, and I look forward to seeing what creative and innovative work comes out of this year’s entries to push our industry's ongoing mission in diversity and sustainability.

Naomi Campbell



Throughout the rest of the year these Advisory Council members will mentor the 6 finalists in preparation for the International Woolmark Prize final in 2021, and more importantly, for sustained careers as fashion designers in a post-2020 world. This commitment involves one-on-one sessions with each designer, online webinars and providing ongoing intel covering topics including product development, inclusivity and accessibility, creative direction, material applications, business development and future-planning.

The pandemic has imposed many limitations on us but looking back at history, strong creations that open the doors of the times are born when there are limitations. In a time when the world is physically divided, the expectations for young talent are high.

Chizuru Muko

As part of this program, the designers will also work with Innovation Academy partners: Common Objective, Queen of Raw, BYBORRE, Blue Bite, TIPA, Hologarment and the program’s 43 international supply chain partners to ensure their product development and supply chains are considered, minimal and fully accounted for. The finalists have all committed to highlighting transparency throughout their supply chain, and in doing so, are only able to work with suppliers whose values align. Indeed, this year’s theme of Less is More not only bares influence on the final output, but every step of the journey. Celebrating slow and responsibly produced fashion and craftsmanship, this approach ensures each and every prototype and garment produced is done so responsibly, with integrity, and care. 

The International Woolmark Prize has never been more needed - a conduit to educate and provoke new ideas and ways of working invoking sustainability, accessibility and equity. With mentoring and funding, it shapes the trajectory for a new generation of designers in a meaningful and transformative way. IWP connects people and planet, understanding the connectivity and agency between the two.

Sinéad Burke

Fashion thrives on the new, but nothing can truly by new, truly inspiring, without thought and heart. I'm so excited to support a new generation of designers who care about other people, and the world we all inhabit, more than they do about clothes.

Laura Brown

Each finalist has been supported by The Woolmark Company with AU$60,000 to develop their collections, and in 2021, one designer will be awarded the International Woolmark Prize with AU$200,000 to continue investing in the development of their business. The 2021 final event will also see the second edition of The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, awarded to a finalist who will receive AU$100,000, and the introduction of the inaugural Woolmark Supply Chain Award, which celebrates outstanding contribution of a trade partner who supports emerging talent and will be presented to a member of the supply chain.

<h2 style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #ffffff;">Discover the finalists</span></h2>

Discover the finalists