Back to the previous page

Who are the International Woolmark Prize finalists?


November 07 2019
Fashion

First held in 1953, the International Woolmark Prize was first won by Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. It’s the most prestigious award for rising fashion designers.

Selected among more than 300 applicants, representing 47 countries, this year’s International Woolmark Prize finalists demonstrate the soaring diversity of the global fashion industry as well as their commitment to innovative practices.

An overall winner and an innovation winner will receive about $135,000 and $65,000, respectively, at the awards ceremony which will take place in February 2020. Finalists’ collections will be produced and sold next fall via the {{International Woolmark Prize retail network, which includes Mytheresa.com and Matchesfashion.com.

Here are the ten finalists:

A-Cold-Wall, United Kingdom
Samuel Ross launched A-COLD-WALL in 2015. His designs are very much inspired by London’s urban life and political disunity. Samuel is developing sustainable packaging, using natural fibres, recycled nylons and organic, and vegetable-based dyeing. “By working with Woolmark, we want to access a pre-existing network of sustainable, traceable supply chains that could help better drive A-COLD-WALL}*’s ambition to continually pursue sustainability across future collection development and production.”}

Blindness, Korea
Shin Kyu Yong and Ji Sun Park founded their label in South Korea. They made their first international debut with Spring 2019 runway at London Fashion Week revealing their gender-less designs. They are working on reducing waste and making their work environment safe.

“Through the International Woolmark Prize} we will learn to use wool in different ways, experiment, and challenge issues such as how fashion is affecting our environment.”}

Bode, United States
BODE by Emily Bode is a luxury menswear brand. Emily makes modern workwear silhouettes with the historically female-centric traditions of quilting, mending and appliqué. BODE works with female-run factories in Peru and India which are dedicated to maintaining historical practices of textile production. She was the first female designer to show at the New York Men's Fashion Week and was a 2018 finalist for the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund award.

“As a young brand whose focus is on the preservation of historical techniques and textiles it is an honour to be recognised by a company that similarly has strived to preserve the use and awareness of a historic fibre.”

Botter, The Netherlands
Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, the design team behind Botter, seek inspiration in their Caribbean roots to create their menswear label. The label won the top design award at the Festival d’Hyères in 2018. The next year the designers were picked up by the Puig Group and appointed as co-creative directors of Nina Ricci women’s ready-to-wear line, showing their first collection for the French fashion house during the pre-fall 2019 season. They’re working on producing minimal waste and using quality organic fabrics.
“We are very careful where we produce our garments; for example, we don’t have a lot of back-and-forth sending of garments as we create all shapes and first toiles in-house, so we take time to work on the most economical placements of patterns on fabric.”

Feng Chen Wang, United Kingdom/China
Feng Chen Wang is a Chinese-born menswear designer who graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 2015. In January 2019, Wang staged her first standalone runway at London Fashion Week and collaborated with Levi’s and Converse. The brand operates out of studios in both Shanghai and London. “I’m very grateful to be accepted into the International Woolmark Prize alongside such a diverse and exciting group of designers. It’s such an exciting award, and probably the only one that is genuinely concerned with research and development, which in turn protects our industry and our planet. It’s extremely exciting and the support network and hunger for new, problem-solving design is really inspiring.”

GmbH, Germany
GmbH was founded in Berlin by Serhat Isik and Benjamin A. Huseby in 2016 as a project to use the medium of fashion to respond to current events in the world and their personal experiences as children of immigrants living in Europe. They insist that every garment, from a hoodie to a blazer, has a unique signature shape.
GmbH’s first collections was made entirely from deadstock fabric. The designers strive to discover more design solutions to waste.“Being a finalist of the International Woolmark Prize is exciting, opens new opportunities and gives a feeling that we are doing something right.”
 
Ludovic de Saint Sernin, France
In 2018, de Saint Sernin had his first show on the official Paris Fashion Week Men’s calendar and won the ANDAM Creative Label Prize. believes in crafting the best quality garments that will be valued and will last for many years. Much of Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s collections are created between his studio and small ateliers based in Paris.
“By keeping the production simple, it drastically reduces our carbon footprint and gives us full visibility of our ateliers and their work practices.”

Matthew Adams Dolan, U.S.
Matthew Dolan graduated from the MFA Fashion Design and Society Program at Parsons School for Design before launching his debut collection for Spring Summer 2016. His eponymous label is a reimagining of the modern American wardrobe. Matthew Adams Dolan was nominated for the LVMH prize in 2018}} and is regularly worn by celebrities such as Rihanna. He works with a number of sustainably-minded factories in Italy that are looking to incorporate more recycled materials.“It’s very exciting to be part of the prize considering its history and the support and mentorship it provides. Regardless of the outcome, the support and mentorship that comes with the experience is invaluable.”

Namacheko, Sweden
Sibling founders of Namacheko, Dilan and Lezan Lurr, were born in Kirkuk, Kurdistan and raised in Sweden. Both studied civil engineering before turning to design. they were invited to show at Paris Fashion Week Men’s 2017. 
Namacheko has worked with Merino wool, a 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre, since its first collection. “We feel proud to be a part of the International Woolmark Prize. This is a seal of approval that we are doing something good. And feels in some ways very natural as we are already working with Australian wool.”

- Richard Malone, Ireland/U.K.
Richard Malone is an Irish designer working between Wexford, Ireland and London}}, having graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2014 with his entire graduate collection being bought by Brown Thomas Dublin. Malone has an unwavering commitment to sustainability and is strongly against the concept of mass production. The quality of his designs and very small production makes him highly collectable: in 2017, Malone was part of the Museum of Modern Art New York's first fashion exhibition in more than 60 years, entitled ‘Is Fashion Modern?’. Following the show, Malone became one of the youngest artists in history to be added to the museum's permanent collection. By keeping production very limited, each component of a garment and those who made it are tracked. “We focus on many sustainable practices, from working with a handweaving community in southern India, which encourages and funds education and training, as well as using plant-based dyes and organic matters. Each jacquard fabric can be traced back to the weaver, and in turn how it was spun, dyed and woven.”

More info @ International Woolmark Prize