International Woolmark Prize begins in Europe

The 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize regional finals have begun with the announcement of the European winners

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Danish menswear label TONSURE and German womenswear designer Tim Labenda were awarded the International Woolmark Prize regional honours at a special event in Milan, Italy.

Before a star-studded judging panel including designers Neil Barrett and Milan Vukmirovic, and editors Franca Sozzani and J.J. Martin, the designers showcased innovative new techniques and ways of working with wool, which ultimately led them to win the regional prize with some 20 designs vying for the honours. “TONSURE has great potential to be a success within the men’s contemporary market, explained Barrett. “They have used wool in an intelligent and very real way that is desirable for a guy to wear.” This included the bonding of wool with neoprene for outerwear. Labenda, meanwhile, showed how luxurious wool can be, embellishing it with handcrafted details. “Tim presented glamour with a clear signature,” said Sozzani of Labenda’s design.

The two winners will each receive a financial contribution of AU$50,000 to help support their business, and will each represent Europe in the international menswear and womenswear finals, respectively, in January 2017. Next week, the British Isles and Australian and New Zealand regional finals will be held, adding to the geographic diversity of the prize.

Photography: Jonathan Daniel Pryce

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