COTTWEILER and Gabriela Hearst have been announced the winners of the menswear and womenswear 2016/2017 International Woolmark Prize (IWP), presented at a special event at the iconic Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Indian designers Nachiket Barve and Bounipun made it to the final rounds.
The return of the International Woolmark Prize to Paris salutes the original awards, initiated by the International Wool Secretariat in 1953. This year, the menswear and womenswear awards have been held together for the first time at the event.
The award was judged by a highly esteemed panel, including menswear judges like Imran Amed, Founder and CEO, Business of Fashion; Rami Atallah, Co-founder and CEO, ssense.com; Jefferson Hack, CEO and Co-Founder, Dazed Media; Michael Hadida, Director of Development and Men’s buyer, LECLAIREUR; Olivier Lalanne, Deputy Editor, Vogue Paris, Editor in Chief, Vogue Hommes; Michèle Lamy, Owenscorp Partner; Benn McGregor, Senior Buyer Menswear, Harvey Nichols; Nelson Mui, Vice President, Men’s Fashion Director, Hudson’s Bay Company; Shayne Oliver, Creative Director, Hood By Air; Fabrizio Servente, Global Strategy Advisor, The Woolmark Company; Takehiko Suzuki, General Manager Men’s & Sports Wear, Isetan Mitsukoshi; and Stefano Tonchi, Editor-in-Chief, W Magazine.
The womenswear jury panel included Christiane Arp, Editor in Chief, Vogue Germany; Anita Barr, Group Fashion Buying Director, Harvey Nichols; Victoria Beckham OBE, Fashion Designer; Damian Burke, General Manager Womenswear, David Jones; Lou Doillon, Singer-Songwriter / Actress; Miroslava Duma, CEO and founder, Fashion Tech Labs and Buro 24/7; Stuart McCullough, Managing Director, The Woolmark Company and many more.
“COTTWEILER is working with wool in a highly original way that mixes sports, tailoring, streetwear and fashion, and I think that represents a new dimension in menswear, “said Dazed Media CEO and Co-Founder Jefferson Hack after the announcement.
Representing the British Isles, COTTWEILER’s winning International Woolmark Prize collection comprised sheer Merino wool base-layers, windproof mid-layers and quilted waterproof outerwear, with wool-blend fabrics ranging from 18.5 microns through to 19.5 microns, and recycled wool scraps used for insulation.
“Winning the International Woolmark Prize gives us the opportunity to share what we do with a much bigger, global audience. But for us, the great part of this was the opportunity to work with a different material – Merino wool – because we’re always interested in experimenting with technology and development,” said COTTWEILER after the win.
Representing the USA, Gabriela Hearst was praised for her technical innovation and quality craftsmanship.
“The International Woolmark Prize gives a huge opportunity to young designers globally. It shows how much you can do with wool as a designer. I was very much in support of Gabriela. For me, she is the worthy winner.
“I love what she does and she’s clearly very talented. I like her eye, she has great product and she’s a strong woman. I have a huge amount of respect for her. I’m proud and honoured to get involved in this and help make this possible for her,” said Victoria Beckham.
More than 75 designers from more than 60 countries were nominated for this year’s award, with finalists representing six different regions across the world.