EMANUELA POTORTI 03 November, 2017
THE INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE RETURNS TO FLORENCE AT PITTI UOMO
Following the success of last year’s final in Paris, the International Woolmark Prize global final returns to Florence in January 2018. The fashion award will take place on the first day of Pitti Uomo, inside Stazione Leopoldo - a former nineteenth century railway station where the winners will be announced.
It will celebrate outstanding fashion talent at the frontline of design and innovation. Twelve emerging womenswear and menswear designers will present their designs with the support of ORDRE’s 360˚ technology, to a highly esteemed panel of judges from the fashion industry.
The winners will receive AU$200,000 to develop their brands and will be granted a year on ORDRE’s wholesale retail platform. A new Innovation Award of AU$100,000 powered by Fashion Tech Lab, will also be given to the finalist who demonstrates a strong initiative to reduce their social and environmental footprint. The experimental laboratory brings together the best minds from fashion and technology to create a sustainable future. They will mentor the young finalists on sustainable sourcing, process development, innovation and creative wool fabrication.
One of the most exciting winners from last year's edition of IWP was Gabriela Hearst. This year, the Uruguayan-born, New York-based designer was nominated for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent and she's becoming one of the industry’s most outspoken women taking a strong stance as an activist and humanitarian designer. She is currently raising proceeds for Planned Parenthood with a limited edition ‘Ram-Ovaries’ 100% Merino wool sweater that was initially developed for the International Woolmark Prize in 2016. Her namesake brand is highly influenced by her background and surroundings, using equestrian references and wools sourced from her family ranch. Resourcefulness and sustainability are the designer's core values, creating luxury products that have long-lasting quality.
2017/2018 MENSWEAR INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE FINALISTS:
Six Lee representing Asia. The Hong Kong native graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp in 2009 and moved to London soon after to join Alexander McQueen’s menswear team. In 2011 Lee established his own label, where his training in British tailoring clearly comes through. His designs are defined by clean cut lines and unique silhouettes with modern twists and new proportions.
BLAIRARCHIBALD representing Australia & New Zealand. The slow-fashion label, established in 2013, investigates the relationship between soft tailoring, sportswear and workwear, with a firm focus on functionality and provenance. For the IWP regional finals, Blairarchibald designed a grey coat made entirely from a recycled army blanket.
Matthew Miller representing the British Isles. The brand’s design philosophy positions fashion as a product, balancing simple manufacturing values with an artist’s approach to craft. His collections often comment on social, political and artistic expressions. Miller mixes modern interpretations of tailoring with unique textile manipulations.
L’Homme Rouge representing Europe. The Swedish label came together in 2010 from a collective of different disciplines including design, society and art. The brand slowly morphed into accessories and later into a menswear brand. Their eclectic background brings a conceptual and non-conformative approach to their menswear designs.
Antar-Agni representing India, Pakistan and Middle East. Designer Ujjawal Dubey believes that fabrics have their own characters; the clothes he designs are raw and natural with smart cuts and relaxed silhouettes. The brand launched in 2014 from the Gennext category at Lakme Fashion Week. Dubey was named as one of ‘50 most influential young Indians’ by GQ and listed in Forbes India’s ‘30 under 30’.
DYNE representing the USA. Founder of DYNE, Christopher Bevans, studied textiles in New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), gaining notable experience with one of largest fabric retailers; Jack Sauma of Mood, and as creative director of Nike Sportswear. His brand, meaning ‘power and force’ derived from ancient Greek, aims to break the boundaries of fabric, fit and function.
2017/2018 WOMENSWEAR INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE FINALISTS:
KYE representing Asia. Kathleen Kye created her label in 2011 after graduating from Central Saint Martins. She uses bold colors and patterns for a youthful streetwear appeal. Her collections often bring attention to social issues such as school violence, youth unemployment and the homeless.
Harman Grubiša representing Australia & New Zealand. Design duo Madeleine Harman and Jessica Grubiša debuted at New Zealand Fashion Week 2015. Together they have experience in roles ranging from styling, forecasting and designing. They design elegant and glamorous pieces, with lasting quality and lush fabrications.
Le Kilt representing the British Isles. Modernizing the classic Scottish Kilt, Samantha McCoach set up her label in 2014. Her grandmother was a traditional kilt maker for over 40 years and Le Kilt is a nod to her family’s heritage, preserving traditional materials with a modern edge.
David Laport representing Europe. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague 2012, he has seen international praise from press and celebrities alike. The Amsterdam-based designer combines couture-like techniques with ready-to-wear. He uses bright colour palettes and pays particular attention to the cut and fit of a garment.
Bodice representing India, Pakistan and Middle East. New Delhi designer, Ruchika Sachdeva, started her brand in 2011 after graduating from London College of Fashion. Sachdeva modernizes classic tailored staples and is drawn to natural fibres, sourcing textiles from India’s local artisans to ensure her products are made in an ethical and sustainable way. Most recently she was featured in Forbes India’s ‘30 under 30’ list.
Zaid Affas representing the USA. The British born and Los Angeles-based designer graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins. He worked for Ports1961 and Ralph Lauren before establishing his own brand in 2014. Inspired by refined materials and through intricate tailoring, he creates organic and sculptural silhouettes, bringing a modern touch to feminine luxury.
Designers who have wholesale showrooms currently open-to-ORDRE:
ANGEL CHEN, PAULA MENDOZA, GOYA, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, Sid Neigum FFWD, JENNIFER BEHR, LES INCOMPÉTENTS, AGNESKOVACS, Anna K. FFWD, Designer ORDRE, Eudon Choi FFWD, LARA KHOURY, Madiyah Al Sharqui FFWD, OBIstudio
ORDRE is an online wholesale showroom for the luxury fashion industry that allows wholesale orders to be placed and managed through sophisticated yet easy to use technology.