International Woolmark Prize: India and Middle East finalists

Bird on a Wire and The Emperor 1688 win 2014/15 India and Middle East regional event

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For the first time since the International Woolmark Prize’s inception, a regional menswear winner as well as womenswear winner have been selected, both hailing from the Middle East.

The Emperor 1688 from the UAE and Bird on a Wire from Lebanon truly show that fashion knows no cultural nor geographical boundaries and represent the essence of the International Woolmark Prize.


The UAE and Lebanon have produced their first winners of the International Woolmark Prize India and Middle East regional final, with The Emperor 1688 and Bird on a Wire moving forward to the global final to be held in 2015.

A judging panel comprising Imran Amed - Founder and Editor, The Business of Fashion; Anthony Kendal - Global Communications Director,; Peter Ackroyd - Global Strategic Advisor, The Woolmark Company; Priyanka Khanna - Senior Fashion Features Editor, Vogue India; and Rahul Mishra - 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize winner selected the two winners.

"More than ever, it’s clear that creativity can be found everywhere in the world and this year’s India & Middle East Woolmark Prize recognised designers from Lebanon and the UAE, providing a meaningful global platform for their creativity,” says Imran Amed.

Founded and designed by three brothers Babak, Haman and Farhan Golkar, The Emperor 1688 is an innovative luxury brand that prides itself in the fantasy and ideal of menswear through the eyes of the design trio. Sourcing inspiration from classical architecture, world culture and traditional English tailoring, the winner of the menswear category fuses all together for a contemporary customer.

“Winning the first Woolmark Prize menswear regional award and the opportunity to show our collection in London at the final is an exciting challenge and dream come true for our brand,” explained Haman Golkar.

“The Emperor 1688 was selected because of how well they achieved a balance between functionality and creativity,” said Priyanka Khanna after the event.

Womenswear category winner Bird on a Wire is the brainchild of Beirut-based fashion designer Rayya Morcos. The Lebanese label designs and builds objects from an architectural and tri-dimensional perspective. It boasts another fashion standpoint where new technologies and materials are used, relinquishing now obsolete techniques and traditional raw materials.

"Bird on a Wire was awarded for Rayya’s commitment to her concept and her unique ideology of deconstructed fashion,” Ms Khanna said.

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