Alicia Ferreira de Sousa from L’École de la Maille de Paris was announced the winner of the inaugural adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge, presented at a special event during Outdoor Retailer, Denver, Colorado. The Woolmark Performance Challenge is a new annual competition for tertiary students aimed at pushing the limits of product innovation and is set to kick-start the career of Alicia.
The award was judged by a highly esteemed panel of judges, including Amanda Parkes - Chief Innovation Officer, Fashion Tech Lab; Christopher Bevans - Creative Director & Owner, Dyne; Jamie Lisanti - Special Projects Editor, Sports Illustrated; Julie Davies - General Manager, Processing Innovation & Education Extension, The Woolmark Company; Kristin Hostetter - Editor in Chief, SNEWS; Louis de Vos - Talent Acquisition Manager, adidas; and Tillmann Studrucker - Senior Design Director, adidas.
“Winning the Woolmark Performance Challenge marks the beginning of an aspiration coming true: a sportswear specialisation to engage my own wellbeing and confidence in sports performance,” said Alicia. “My main goal was to make a textile that connects and communicates with the body; and Merino wool supports the wearer’s needs in any situation or environment to enhance performance.”
Alicia will now receive a cash prize of €10,000 (approx. $11,300 USD), a three-month internship with adidas, the opportunity to sell the winning idea along with ongoing industry and training support from The Woolmark Company. More than 500 students from 58 universities across Europe and North America registered to take part in the adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge.