European, Australian Woolmark Prize Winners Revealed


The winners of this year’s International Woolmark Prize for the regions of Europe and Australia have been announced.

Netherlands-based menswear designer Jonathan Christopher and womenswear designer Nanna Van Blaaderen were awarded the prizes for Europe, WWDreported on Thursday.

Christopher and Van Blaaderen were chosen by German Vogue editor-in-chiefWalter van Beirendonck, Christiane Arp and MyTheresa‘s buying directorJustin O’Shea.

The panel chose Christopher by “unanimous decision,” Beirendonck told WWD. He added that the budding designer has “vision” and “the innovation with which he used the material, merino wool, in particular.”

For the Australian region, womenswear designer Bianca Spender and menswear designer Patrick Johnson were named the 2015 prize winners.

The designers beat a total of 17 nominees for each region.

“For us, it [the win] is a good way to get more momentum with our weavers and really push wool,” Johnson told WWD.

For Sydney, the judges included fashion industry leaders Osman Yousefzada, David Jones, Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann; Harper’s Bazaar Australia editor-in-chief Kellie Hush, Manuscript editor-in-chiefMitchell Oakley-Smith and Melissa Grace.

Two finalists from each international region — Australia, Asia, the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and India/Pakistan/the Middle East — will receive a cash prize of 50,000 Australian dollars (or about $37,150 at current exchange) and the chance to produce and sell a six-piece capsule collection made from Australian superfine merino wool.

From there, two overall International Merino Prize winners (one from menswear, one womenswear) will be named by the Merino Wool Company. The pair will each receive 100,000 Australian dollars and have their collections sold, Harvey Nichols, 10 Corso Como,, Saks Fifth Avenue, Joyce, Isetan Mitsukoshi, Boutique 1 and David Jones.


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