As the world’s original and most prestigious fashion talent program, the International Woolmark Prize connects an astonishing list of industry legends. And now, it’s your opportunity to join the star-studded alumni, with applications now open for the 2020 edition.
The International Woolmark Prize is open to designers across the globe who can demonstrate an innovative use of fabrics and textiles and that have been producing commercial products for a minimum of two and maximum of eight years. Applications are open worldwide, as per The Woolmark Company’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity. From the applications received, the Woolmark Prize Advisory Council will select 10 finalists, to be announced publicly in mid-2019.
Each of the ten finalists will automatically receive a financial contribution of AU$70,000 for the development of a wool-rich capsule collection, mentorship from fashion editors, sustainability experts and business leaders, and introductions and support across the supply chain via The Woolmark Company’s broader network. The 10-month incubator program will help evolve the finalists’ creative ideas and business practices and propel their brand onto the next stage.
As 2019 finalist Brandon Maxwell explained: "There are so many organisations that claim to be advocating for their industry. Sometimes, you feel as a designer who needs the support that they fall short and that sometimes it’s more about the hoopla than it is actual help. But nobody does it like Woolmark. I think there are a lot of unexpected life things that have popped up, and to complete that collection and do it in an innovative way that is exciting — it would have been impossible without the dedicated Woolmark team."
In early 2020, the 10 finalists will come together to present their capsule collections as part of a celebratory event, with an esteemed judging panel tasked with selecting this year’s winners of the International Woolmark Prize. The two winners of the prize will each receive AU$200,000 and the opportunity for their capsule collection to be stocked by the program’s retail partner network of leading boutiques, department stores and e-commerce platforms. For the third year, an Innovation Award of AU$100,000 will be granted to a designer that demonstrates the most innovative or sustainable approach to systems production, materials, textile design or product design.
Through the International Woolmark Prize, we have a unique opportunity to reshape tomorrow’s fashion landscape with a focus on sustainability and longevity thanks to nature’s miracle fibre: Merino wool. We encourage designers to apply to be part of the experience and to show us what they have to innovate with wool.
Applications close on April 8 2019.