Colovos and Edward Crutchley deservedly scooped the recent prizes at the International Woolmark Prize in February, yet it’s safe to say they were up against some tough competition. “The level of talent we saw from all twelve designers was exceptional,” said managing director of the Woolmark Company Stuart McCullough, in an official press release. “Each and every one pushed the limits of the fibre, of their design and of the manufacturers they worked with.”
Although Crutchley and Colovos were lauded for their design excellence using Merino wool, all the finalists pushed boundaries in material innovation and manipulation: Chinese designer Angel Chen developed a digitally programmed zero-waste fabric, as well as cording techniques to create an eco-friendly lace-like textile; Australian designer Albus Lumen conceived textural effects by blending Merino wool with silk and linen, ultimately reimagining wool into a trans-seasonal fibre; New York-based designer Willy Chavarria created a double-layer wool textile incorporating advanced functional qualities such as moisture wicking, breathability, and climate control.
For their pioneering efforts the twelve finalists received AU$70,000 to help develop their business, alongside continued mentoring support from Woolmark’s global panel of experts and partners. Additionally, they were given the opportunity to present their capsule collections on ORDRE’s exclusive online wholesale showrooms - get access to their collections below. In addition, watch ORDRE’s fashion director Kirsten Lock take a deep dive with each finalist to discuss their innovations.
Daniel w. Fletcher