…and we have an opinion
We’re major fans of promoting responsible wool as a fabric to replace synthetics going forward. Therefore, we love learning about the designers competing for The International Woolmark Prize. Challenging on-the-rise talents to create a collection made entirely of Australian merino wool, lately the International Woolmark Prize has become a study of sustainability, natural fibers, and responsible sourcing. This is a great opportunity for emerging designers to get mentorship and guidance in making their collections more sustainable and ethically conscious. Last year the talented Matty Bovan was the winner of both the top prize and the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation.
The theme for this year is Play, a celebration of forward-thinking design and innovation. The competition focuses on cultivating new talent under the lens of sustainability. Each finalist will create a collection for Autumn/Winter 2022 of Merino wool showcasing transparency throughout their supply chain. A panel of experts from the fashion industry will select the winners and it will be announced in April of 2022.
Seven brands have been selected as finalists this year –which is one more than last year’s six. While we’re sure they’re all talented we are disappointed that only two of them, Ahluwalia and Rui have female designers. (which was the same last year) Especially when we consider that both knitting and fiber arts have historically been considered “women’s work” and there has been a resurgence of interest in both these areas by up-and-coming female designers all over our insta-feed and in fashion design schools. But maybe those designers didn’t apply? We can’t answer that –only ask the question.
In the meantime the current Woolmark Prize finalists are all extremely talented and include: Ahluwalia and Saul Nash from the UK, EGONLAB from France, Jordan Dalah from Australia, MMUSOMAXWELL from South Africa, Peter Do from the US and Rui from China.