Top image: Phoebe English SS17, photograph by Ben Parks.
British menswear designers Liam Hodges, Matthew Miller and Phoebe English Man are all up for this year’s prestigious International Woolmark Prize, joined by womenswear designers Helen Lawrence, Le Kilt, ROBERTS | WOOD and Sadie Williams.
Announced today, this year’s prize sees 65 global nominees each receiving $2000 (Australian dollar) to aid the development of their submission piece. These will all be submitted ahead of regional finals to be held in Dubai, London, Milan, New York, Seoul and Sydney throughout July. With the global menswear and womenswear winner each receiving $200,000 (a dramatic increase on last year’s $100,000), it’s a hugely beneficial financial injection.
Established in 1953, the Woolmark Prize has proved a pivital support and platform for many young designers, from the winners of its inaugural award – Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfield, no less – to last year’s winners, designers Gabriella Hearst and Cottweiler for womenswear and menswear respectively.
This year, The Woolmark Company have also reworked the Prize to include an Innovation Award, celebrating “the most unique and creative fabric or yarn development from a finalist.” The winner of this new prize will receive $100,000 as well as being presented with commercial opportunities. “Due to increasing pressures on young designers, we have restructured our program spend with a greater focus on the design talent and our partners,” says The Woolmark Company’s Managing Director Stuart McCullough.