A bevy of international journalists ,buyers and personalities from the world of fashion and textile gathered at a special event held at 10 Corso Como during Milan Fashion Week in September to celebrate both the 2012/13 International Woolmark Prize winner and the next group of global finalists.
After Wijnants’ IWP collection sold out of London’s flagship Harvey Nichols store within a matter of weeks, all eyes were on 10 Corso Como to see how his collection was received. And well received it was, with fashion journalist heavyweights praising the Belgian designer.
Vogue Italia senior fashion editor Sara Maino said it was Wijnants’ special way of seeing wool which saw him win the 2012/13 International Woolmark Prize.
“I think he really created a collection where the wool came out in a very creative way but also in a very commercial way – very easy to buy,” Maino said.
Part of winning the International Woolmark Prize includes the opportunity to be stocked in some of the world’s leading retailers, including Harvey Nichols, 10 Corso Como and David Jones.
“It is a dream for any designer to be stocked in Corso Como,” Wijnants said during the event in Milan. “I first visited the store when I was a student and fell in love with the concept, and most of the pieces stocked here are Merino wool pieces.”
After a global search reaching across 20 countries and 48 designers, five global finalists have been chosen to represent their region in the 2013/2014 International Woolmark Prize global final staged during Milan Fashion Week in February 2014.
“Corso Como is probably one of the most famous stores in the world and the way it is curated is just amazing.” Sibling co-designer Joe Bates
The finalists were also at the 10 Corso Como event, showcasing their winning looks to the world’s fashion leaders including Vanessa Friedman and Tim Blanks.
Representing Europe, Sibling was present at the event in Milan, with Joe Bates – one third of the UK label – saying he is excited to be part of the global final.
“We feel relieved after having showed our collection last week in London and cannot wait for the global final in February,” Bates said.
Australian designer Christopher Esber also shared his excitement about being a global finalist.
“It’s an honour to be one of the finalists; it is great to be recognised and to represent the country. I was looking at wool in the past and then how at how we could process wool to make it become a more sportswear fabric when designing this collection.
“I love working with wool as I do a lot of tailoring and a lot of shoulders, and you can mould wool like no other fabrics and achieve fantastic structures.”
IWP winner takes his award-winning knitwear Down Under
Winner of the 2012/13 International Woolmark Prize