Saul Nash was announced the winner of the 2022 International Woolmark Prize at a special event held in London. MMUSOMAXWELL is also celebrating after being awarded the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation.
An expert jury including Ben Gorham, Carine Roitfeld, Edward Enninful OBE, Ibrahim Kamara, Marc Newson CBE, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, Naomi Campbell, Pieter Mulier, Riccardo Tisci, Shaway Yeh, Sinéad Burke and Tim Blanks selected the winners. The announcement was hosted by Nick Grimshaw and was also attended by Jourdan Dunn, Pixie Geldof, Susie Lau and Erin O’Connor.
"It’s great to see the continuing shifts in fashion as young dynamic creatives are supported and nurtured across the globe, from Africa to China to the UK. Anyone who knows me will know that I’ve been supporting young talent at every opportunity, so I am very happy to be part of this initiative," said Naomi Campbell. “Everything about the wool industry is self-supportive. It’s all about partnering the natural resources of the farms with the well-being of their sheep. I am very happy to be involved with Woolmark.”
Saul Nash awarded the 2022 International Woolmark Prize
London-based designer Saul Nash was praised for his modern use of Merino wool, bridging a gap between active solutions and more formal requirements.
“Everyone did a great job and could have been a winner,” said Riccardo Tisci. “But what Saul did, coming from a contemporary and hip hop background to replace lycra with wool was really incredible.”
With a true sense of discovery, this collection exposed Nash to the benefits of Merino wool in activewear, allowing him to develop materials which have enhanced the quality of his designs without compromising their technical DNA. With a focus on minimising waste, and emphasising movement and performance, Saul Nash’s modern interpretation of knitwear challenges preconceived ideas surrounding sportswear.
“Words cannot describe what this means to me,” said Saul Nash after the announcement. “In such a short space if time I am so grateful for what I have gained in the past eight months. This really is the cherry on top for everything Woolmark has done for me.”
MMUSOMAXWELL awarded the 2022 Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation
From South Africa, MMUSOMAXWELL’s winning collection was committed to reducing its environmental impact and upskilling traditional craftsmanship.
“When you meet certain people you immediately have love at first sight,” explains Carine Roitfeld. “I love what MMUSOMAXWELL is doing and how they explain their work. They have a dream and what they are doing is not just for South Africa, but for a modern, western woman. I think Karl would have loved to have spoken with them today and am sure he would be very happy to give this award to them.”
Sourcing local raw materials and end-to-end production, MMUSOMAXWELL took an artisanal approach to its collection. Each item promotes slow and small batch production through use of local artisans to counteract the over-consumption pandemic and allows for greater product traceability. The jury praised the design duo for their passion, courage and committed to introducing a new skillset to South African manufacturers.
"Winning means everything to us,” said MMUSOMAXWELL designers Maxwell Boko and Mmuso Potsane. "It allows us to continue working with artisans and to further explore with Merino wool, which is fantastic for us. It’s mind blowing.”