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2nd April 2008

Wool, c'est cool!


Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Chief Executive Craig Welsh announced the launch of ‘The Australian Merino Woolmark Prize’, awarding fashion creativity. This is a major step forward for the global wool industry in recognising emerging international talent from across the world.

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Chief Executive Craig Welsh The international prize has been conceived to assist emerging, leading talent to occupy a solid place in the global apparel industry.

In 1954, two young, unknown women’s wear designers, Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, stepped up onto a stage to accept their respective fashion design prizes, awarded by the International Wool Secretariat. Lagerfeld, then 21, was winner of the coat category. Saint Laurent, at a mere 19 years old, won the award for dress design.

Mr Welsh explained, “Identifying and investing in the next generation is critical to the success of any industry. We see this as an opportunity to support the future of design and at the same time, showcase to the world Australian Merino wool at its best and most innovative.

“It is also a way to assist future designers and consumers to understand the great benefits of Australian Merino wool being natural, biodegradable and sustainable, which makes it one of the most exciting natural fibres available today.”

Open to young designers who have recently graduated and are already professionally active, the prize was conceived to help nurture those most in need: the fashion designer on the cusp of commercial credibility.

For the inaugural Woolmark Prize 2008, designers from cultures as diverse as China, Japan, Norway, England, Belgium, Germany and France – have been selected by an international panel of fashion experts to participate. Each designer has formulated a capsule collection, emphasising the sensual, sculptural aspects of knitted yarn.

A panel of fashion experts will assess the entries and adjudicate the Prize, to be presented at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, on July 3 2008.

The winner of the Woolmark Prize 2008 will receive significant in kind support from AWI and Woolmark through industry support and mentoring.

The Woolmark Prize will be awarded annually and aims to be one of the most sought after prizes for up and coming global designers.

Finalists for the 2008 Woolmark Prize are:

Louise Goldin, Britain

RubecksenYamanaka (Hilde Rubecksen/Tomoko Yamanaka), Norway/Japan

Shao Jia, China

Tom Scott, USA

Everlasting Sprout (Keiichi Muramatsu/Noriko Seki), Japan

Chrystl Fischer, Belgium

Qui Hao, China

Cooperativedesigns (Annalisa Dunn/Dorothee Hagemann), Britain/Germany

Marielle Van de Ven, Holland

Xavier Brisoux, France


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