'Rest of the World' International Woolmark Prize semi-finalists revealed in New York

Brandon Maxwell, Colovos and Willy Chavarria, all from the United States, alongside Albus Lumen from Australia, have been named as the winners of the 2018/19 International Woolmark Prize New York semi-final. 

The four semi-finalists, representing the Rest of the World category, were revealed in the last round of semi-final competition on Thursday in New York, as part of the seventh edition of the emerging design prize.

The Rest of the World semi-final winners in New York


In front of a panel comprised of magazine editors, buyers and designers, American womenswear designer Brandon Maxwell wowed judges with a luxury active collection featuring technical wool fabrics for a chic athleisure wear made for movement and style.

Still sports, but slightly less technical, women's label Colovos, also from the U.S., presented a fashion collection inspired by vintage sports (think tennis, archery and cycling) specific to the early 1930s, coupled with 1940s utility pieces, updated in contemporary colours and proportions.

Blending futurism with workwear, menswear designer Willy Chavaria's 'Futurismo' capsule offered bold yet soft silhouettes, and outerwear looks with wool lining to emphasise the plush. His styles combined American blue-collar workwear with the function of technical athletic apparel. 

The only Australian to win, Albus Lumen floated an all-white women's capsule collection. Titled 'Para Interna' (Latin for Pure Discovery), the designer showed the ethereal side of wool, focusing on its lightness and texture.

Drawing designers from across the globe, the New York (ROW) edition follows on from semi-final rounds in Hong Kong (Asia) and London (Europe) held over the last fortnight.

Daniel W. Fletcher, Edward Crutchley, Nicholas Daley, all from the United Kingdom, and Cmmn Swdn, from Sweden, were named  the winners of the 2018/19 International Woolmark Prize London semi-final.

Angel Chen from China, I-Am-Chen from Hong Kong, Yohei Ohno from Japan and Youser from Korea were named winners of the 2018/19 International Woolmark Prize Hong Kong semi-final.

For their efforts, the finalists will receive a financial contribution of AU$70,000 for the development of their business and capsule collection.

From here, tor the next seven months, each finalist will be required to develop a capsule collection of six looks in Merino wool, to showcase at the grand final in London in February 2019. 

One menswear and womenswear winner will then receive AU$200,000 for collection, together with mentoring from industry experts to help propel their business.

There's also a secondary prize given to one additional finalist, the Innovation Award, with the winner to take home a AU$100,000 cash prize.

At the end of competition, the winners may even have their collections picked up and sold by the prize’s international retail partner network which includes Boutique 1, Boon the Shop, David Jones, Harvey Nichols, Hudson’s Bay Company, Lane Crawford, Leclaireur, Mytheresa.com and Parlour X.

Now in its seventh year, the International Woolmark Prize selects the best emerging designers each year, from 300 applicants across 46 countries.

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