The Italian style capital is the setting for the 2013/14 iteration of the IWP as five leading talents from around the world present a Merino wool collection to media, dignitaries and VIPs on February 21, competing for $AUD100,000. The La Triennale Museum plays host to a runway show judged by a panel of global fashion industry heavyweights including Angelica Cheung (Vogue China), Colette Garnsey (The Woolmark Company), Franca Sozzani, (Vogue Italia, L'Uomo Vogue, Vogue.it), Frida Giannini (Gucci) and Tim Blanks (Style.com) with fashion journalist and academic Colin McDowell acting as a mentor.
"The International Woolmark Prize aims to highlight the beauty of the Merino wool fibre at the hands of the world's finest designers." Stuart McCullough, CEO, AWI
The event is the culmination of a year-long global search covering 24 countries and over 48 designers. Besides recognising extraordinary talent, the IWP nurtures brands, putting the winning designer’s collection into some of the most prestigious fashion retailers on the planet including Colette (France), Saks Fifth Avenue (USA), Harvey Nichols (UK), 10 Corso Como (Italy), Joyce (China), MyTheresa.com (Germany) and David Jones (Australia). Representatives from each retail partner will join the panel to deliver their unique commercial perspective on the relevance of the finalists’ collections.
Having beaten local contenders at regional finals in 2013, the finalists at the Milan event—ffiXXed (Asia), Christopher Esber (Australia), Sibling (Europe), Rahul Mishra (India and Middle East), Altuzarra (USA)—will each present a six piece collection intended to highlight the beauty of Merino wool.
Interest in the first edition of the IWP in London in February 2013, saw #woolmarkprize trend number two globally on Twitter, reaching 75 million people within six hours of the announcement. The Milan event is expected to similarly captivate fashion fans everywhere, a reflection of the prestige of the designers, judges and retailers who lend their talent and support to the competition.
"This prize proves our commitment in supporting new fashion talent, not only giving them a financial prize, but more importantly helping them to build a solid selling network through the retailers who partner with us on this project," says Stuart McCullough, CEO of Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) that owns of The Woolmark Company.