International Woolmark Prize: USA finalists

PUBLIC SCHOOL and M.PATMOS win 2014/15 USA regional event

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With a vision for innovation and knack for designing with a contemporary customer in mind, both PUBLIC SCHOOL and M.PATMOS delivered looks which saw these two New York-based labels go straight to the top of the class.


Incredible talent was on show at Milk Studios in New York City, as 10 of the USA’s most promising rising stars in the fashion industry vied for a position at the 2014/15 International Woolmark Prize global final.

But, in the end, PUBLIC SCHOOL and M.PATMOS were announced the USA regional finalists for menswear and womenswear respectively, each securing their place at the global final for their category and receiving AU$50,000 (US$47,000).

A judging panel comprising Alexander Wang, Creative Director, Alexander Wang, Inc. and Balenciaga; Ariel Foxman, Editor-in-Chief, InStyle; Colleen Sherin, Senior Fashion Director, Saks Fifth Avenue; David Granger, Editor-in-Chief, Esquire; Eric Jennings, Vice President & Fashion Director Menswear, Home, Food & Gifts, Saks Fifth Avenue; Malcolm Carfrae, Executive Vice President, Chief Communications Officer, Calvin Klein; Michelle Lee, Director of Americas for The Woolmark Company, Stefano Tonchi, Editor-in-Chief, W Magazine and Steven Kolb, CEO, CFDA selected the two winners.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the International Woolmark Prize judging panel again and excited to see the womenswear designs, as well as the competition’s first ever menswear category,” said Alexander Wang.

“The Woolmark Company’s prestigious award enables emerging designers like Public School and M.PATMOS a platform to push the boundaries of their creativity with Merino wool through experimentation and innovation.”

A true New York story, PUBLIC SCHOOL designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne were recognised for their innovative use of boiling, felting and needle punching. Their winning outfit showcases the trans-seasonal and versatile attributes of Merino wool and the brand continues to redefine the landscape for menswear.

“We're so incredibly thrilled and honoured to be selected as the US representative in the first Woolmark Prize for menswear,” Chow and Osborne said after the announcement.

“Working with wool and all of its natural benefits has been instrumental in developing the trans-seasonality and versatility of our own collection and it’s going to really help jumpstart our knitwear business.”

For Marcia Patmos, founder/designer of womenswear winner M.PATMOS, it was her well-crafted and technical look which saw her secure a place in the womenswear global final to be held in Beijing in March 2015.

Always finding effortless balance, the M.PATMOS woman has a focus on function, with garments possessing timeless layers rendered in architectural, sophisticated and modern silhouettes. Intersecting luxury with craftsmanship and utilitarian function with elegance, the expert drape and tailoring of M.PATMOS unites together for a contemporary woman.

“I've done a lot of work with wool, but was intrigued to explore new techniques, and the ability to contrast high-tech with handcrafted was an incredible learning experience,” explained Marcia Patmos.

“It was such an honour to be alongside these other amazing designers, all of whom showcased such unique uses of wool.”

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