The International Woolmark Prize is an international competition celebrating wool with regional finalists competing for the international prize of getting their woolen collectionc commercialised and distributed International Woolmark Prize’s extensive retail partner network.
The regions include Asia; Australia & New Zealand; British Isles; Europe; India, Pakistan & Middle East; and the USA.
The regional prize of $50,000 goes towards the funding for their upcoming capsule collection to be showcased at the international Woolmark competition in six months. Not to mention the press coverage and mentoring from the well-versed panel. The global menswear and womenswear winners will both receive $100,000 to assist with fabric sourcing, marketing of their collection, as well as mentoring.
The Australian winners were womenswear label ‘Macgraw’ and menswear label ‘Ex Infinitas’
Macgraw duo Beth and Tessa Macgraw have had a busy year taking home 3 awards. They won the ‘BT Emerging Fashion Designer Award’ ($50,000 prize) and the ‘Tiffany Co National Designer Award’ (prize value of $100,000). The designers launched their label in 2012 and have a good eye for gorgeous prints and fabrics.
“Their (macgraw’s) ability to present, to share their point of view, and the amount of stores they are already stocked in speaks lengths of their talent,” Jason Wu said. “To the judging panel, they seemed the most ready to advance to the next stage.”
Meet EX FINITAS
Designer Lukas Vincent grew up in suburban surfy-casual Melbourne with was far from the catwalks of Paris and Milan.
Ex Finitas celebrates Vincent’s surfer boy heritage and marries it with high-end luxury. He gives urban-casual staples a makeover with luxury fabrics and exquisite tailoring.
Vincent’s career path was non-traditional with him dropping out of his prestigious 3 year fashion degree at RMIT University after only 6 months to persue pratical experience and sought out Bettina Liano at the height of her success. He learnt the ropes in all areas from PR and advertising to patternmaking. He then went onto work at Lee and increased their menswear sales from 25 to 75 per cent.
“There’s been an incredible surge in technical types of wool, like those used in sportswear and athletic gear, and for my brand, being so inspired by surf culture, that really works,” Vincent says.
Vincent seems to have a sense of apprehension about making his collection an Aussie vibe but has now come round and believes he is inspired by is beer-guzzling classmates he felt so different from when growing up. “It’s funny looking back, because those are the guys who have become my muses in a weird way.” I love how Vogue appraises his collection as a “haute translation of bogan culture .”
Vincent must have been a refreshing guy in the midst of beer, pot-smoking suburban life. At least his collection can refresh the global fashion world after lots of hard work.
Exinfinitas designer Lukas Vincent (second from left), with the Woolmark Prize womenswear winners, Beth (centre) and Tessa MacGraw, of macgraw. Photo: Ryan Schembri
Wool is something to be loved – what are you favorite brands that showcase wool in their designs?