Designers gear up for the International Woolmark Prize

Designers gear up for the International Woolmark Prize

The winner of the International Woolmark Prize will be revealed on Saturday (February 16th), as the final six designers left in the competition compete at London Fashion Week.

With knitwear one of the main fashion staples of 2012, more and more people are going in search of the best yarn to create weird and wonderful designs.

The International Woolmark Prize goes in search of the fashion industry's outstanding and emerging talent from around the world, who best highlight the beauty of Merino wool fibre and show promise in leading the industry forward.

In a competition that spans 12 months, 16 countries and more than 70 designers, six new talents will be battling it out at the weekend.

The successful few are Dion Lee (Australia), Ban Xiao Xue (China), Christian Wijnants (Belgium), Pankaj and Nidhi (India), DRESSEDUNDRESSED (Japan) and Sophie Theallet (US).

ME Hotel in The Strand will be the site where the winner of the International Woolmark Prize is decided, with the victorious designer winning $105,000 (£674,720) and the chance to be stocked in some of the world's top boutiques, including Harvey Nichols, Bergdorf Goodman, Corso Como, Joyce and Eickhoff Konigsallee.

The judging panel will be made up of the nine most important and influential identities in fashion: Diane Von Furtensberg, Donatella Versace, Franca Sozzani, Tim Blanks, Victoria Beckham, Andrew Keith, Carla Sozzani and Paula Reed.

Von Furtensberg, Versace and Beckham each have a history of using wool in their designs and are well placed to identify the next big thing.

Stuart McCullough, chief executive officer of Australian Wool Innovation, owners of The Woolmark Company, stated: "The International Woolmark Prize has gained extraordinary momentum over the past 12 months, generating support and interest across the globe. The final event in February will showcase the future of fashion and we are very proud that Merino wool will hold a firm place in that exciting and prosperous future.”

While we might not all be able to become award winning designers, the International Woolmark Prize is a great source of inspiration for future projects and there are lots of patterns out there just waiting for you to make your new favourite piece of knitwear.

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