The quality, versatility and modernity of Merino wool apparel was showcased at the final of the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize, held on the 21st of February during Milan Fashion Week.
After a global search, reaching across 20 countries and involving 48 emerging designers nominated by fashion industry figures in their respective regions, five designers competed in the final.
The finalists attended face-to-face interviews with the judging panel to present their designs, before showing their six-piece collection - made from a minimum of 80 per cent Merino wool - on the catwalk to an audience of the most influential 'names' of the fashion world.
ffiXXed - representing Asia
ffiXXed is a ready-to-wear fashion label based in Hong Kong initiated by design duo Kain Picken and Fiona Lau. Their fashion forward capsule collection uses wool in a very modern way.
Christopher Esber - representing Australia
Since his brand's inception, the Sydney designer has received strong media support and won several industry accolades. His collection utilises innovative wool product developments in the form of deconstructed suiting.
Sibling - representing Europe
Sid Bryan, Joe Bates and Cozette McCreery of UK-based Sibling have strong experience with top name designers. Their collection gives knitwear a good old-fashioned shake-up. Their mission statement: let's put the fun into classics.
Rahul Mishra - representing India and the Middle East
The Rahul Mishra brand's philosophy revolves around integrating the rich heritage of Indian craft with the constantly varying pulse of global fashion. His collection displays progressive graphic hand embroidery with Merino wool yarn on jackets, dresses and pants.
Altuzarra - representing the USA
Altuzarra is a luxury women's ready-to-wear brand launched in 2008 in New York by Joseph Altuzarra. The Altuzarra collection includes stunning three piece wool outfits including wool shoes.
At the conclusion of the event, Rahul Mishra was announced as the winner of the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize.
India finalist prepares for 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize
USA finalist prepares for 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize
Europe finalist prepares for 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize
Asia finalist prepares for 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize