The Woolmark Company is reinforcing its commitment to supporting emerging design talent by enhancing the prize money for the prestigious International Woolmark Prize. The restructure of the award also shines a spotlight on the textile mills assisting in developing innovative wool fabric and yarn, with the introduction of an Innovation Award.
Artist Jonathan Zawada has created the trophies for this year's International Woolmark Prize regional and final events, each crafted from recycled plastic collected from Australian shorelines.
The newly introduced Innovation Award has been created to celebrate outstanding creative and innovative fabric or yarn development in wool. The Innovation Award aims to inspire finalists to be more experimental and creative when developing fabric or yarn for final collections and can be awarded to any of the 12 global finalists. The winner of the Innovation Award will be granted AU$100,000 as well as being presented with commercial opportunities. The textile mill responsible for the exciting development will also be promoted via The Woolmark Company’s global trade promotional program with benefits including global trade advertising, featuring in The Wool Lab and highlighted within The Woolmark Company's stand at global trade shows.
Each of the recently announced 65 global nominees competing in this year's regional events will receive AU$2000 to assist in the development of their submission piece, ahead of the regional finals to be held in Dubai, London, Milan, New York, Seoul and Sydney throughout July. In addition, each regional menswear and womenswear winner will this year receive AU$70,000 to go towards their final collection. Prize money for the two eventual winners has also increased, with the global menswear and womenswear winner each receiving AU$200,000.
“Due to increasing pressures on young designers, we have restructured our program spend with a greater focus on the design talent and our partners,” explains The Woolmark Company’s Managing Director Stuart McCullough.