Christopher Raeburn - Founder and Creative Director, Christopher Raeburn; Juun.J - Creative Director, Juun.J; Cui Dan - Fashion Director, GQ China and Chief Editor, GQ Style China; Fiona Kotur - Creative Director and CEO of KOTUR; and Priscilla I’Anson - Fashion Stylist and Consultant selected the winners at an awards event held in Hong Kong.
Known for his use of interesting silhouettes and unexpected details and patterns, Korean designer Hyun-min Han of MÜNN presented a multi-layered menswear look with relaxed tailored structures created from a combination of woven wool, selvedge detail, raw edges and cable-knitted wool. The complete outfit included a long wool coat, knitted turtleneck and wide wool trousers, and was paired with a cable-knit muffler and woven wool bucket bag.
“MÜNN presented a look that was modern and unique,” stated Juun. J. “He incorporated his brand identity and vision strongly into Merino wool, and the final result was one that is international, striking and sophisticated with a casual twist. I particularly liked the delicate selvedge detail that was woven into his coat and trousers, juxtaposed against the chunky knit of the sweater and scarf.”
Founded in 2012, Toton Januar and his business partner Haryo Balitar built TOTON on the foundation of Indonesian heritage, celebrating craftsmanship and re-contextualizing traditions. Their winning design explored the versatility of Australian Merino wool by developing and manipulating the fibre with traditional Indonesian methods in order to produce exotically embroidered and textured fabrics, as well as a men’s tailoring-inspired look that would suit southeast Asian climates and support local hand-crafting techniques.
“TOTON achieved a great balance between genuine wool innovation and displaying business acumen,” Christopher Raeburn commented. He added: “The techniques and textures showcased by TOTON made us look at wool in a new way, it was contemporary and relevant; they have the complete package and I’m very excited to see how their collection will develop for the finals.”
“I am so happy and honoured to have won in the menswear category for the Asia regional of the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize,” said Hyun-min Han. “To have a taste of participating in such a prestigious global competition, learning so much about wool and sharing what MÜNN represents to a worldwide audience, has made this an unforgettable experience.”
“This is simply unreal,” said Toton Januar after his win. “It’s the first time that Indonesian designers are participating in the International Woolmark Prize, and it means so much to us. We were so excited to explore and manipulate wool with traditional Indonesian craftsmanship, and give greater meaning to ‘people making things for people.” His business partner Haryo Balitar agrees: “We want to make sure we support and promote the unique traditions and age-old techniques of our people.”
Chosen from amongst the most promising fashion design talents from Asia, both winners gain a financial contribution of AU$50,000, plus the opportunity to represent Asia and compete in the prestigious international final. In addition, each winner will receive mentoring support from a global panel of experts along with being granted a Woolmark licence.
For the next six-to-seven 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 final for menswear will be held on schedule during London Collections Men and the womenswear final will be held in Paris, both in January 2017.
The winners of the menswear and womenswear global finals will receive a further AU$100,000 to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection, as well as mentoring from industry experts. In addition, both international winners will have the opportunity to have their collection distributed through the prize’s prestigious international retail partner network including Harvey Nichols in the UK, David Jones in Australia, Boutique 1 in the UAE, Verso in Belgium, LECLAIREUR in Paris, Boon the Shop in South Korea, The Papilion in Indonesia and online through mytheresa.com (womenswear) and Matchesfashion.com (menswear).
The Woolmark Company is pleased to have the support of Wine Australia as the official drinks partner, along with TONI&GUY and makeup by MAC for the 2016/17 Asia International Woolmark Prize.