Woolmark Prize announces winners of British Isles final
Menswear designer Matthew Miller and womenswear brand Le Kilt have been named as winners of the 2017/18 International Woolmark Prize British Isles regional final.
They were chosen from the most promising fashion design talents from the British Isles by a panel of judges comprising designer Emilia Wickstead; Daniel Kearns, creative director of Kent & Curwen; Anita Barr, group fashion buying director at Harvey Nichols; Farfetch buying and merchandising director Candice Fragis; and Jason Basmajian, chief creative officer of Cerruti.
Matthew Miller and Le Kilt will receive a financial contribution of A$70,000, as well as mentoring support from a global panel of experts along with being granted a Woolmark licence.
Winning the British Isles final also means they will have to opportunity to compete in the organisation’s international final. For the next six-to-seven months, the winning designers will develop a capsule collection focused on Merino wool, to be showcased at an event that will highlight the 12 menswear and womenswear finalists selected from across the globe.
The global winners will receive a further A$200,000 to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection, as well as mentoring from industry experts.
Matthew Miller was selected as best menswear designer for his luxurious, yet cool designs. He presented a modern take on tailoring, constructing a double-breasted tuxedo from 18.75 micron Merino wool, paired with a rain overcoat with a 100% Merino wool removable lining.
"Wool is one of the most important and luxury materials and a high-performance fibre, but I wanted to give it a much more youthful feel," he said.
Samantha McCoach of Le Kilt incorporated intricate detailing into her wool denim look, drawing from her Scottish heritage to reinterpret the modern uniform.
"The prize has given me an opportunity to look at wool in a new way,” she said. “The challenge was that working with wool comes naturally to me, it's at the heart of my brand but I wanted to do something new which is why I looked at innovations in wool denim."
Woolmark Prize’s international winners will have the opportunity to have their collection distributed through international retailers including Harvey Nichols, Hudson’s Bay Company, Mytheresa.com, De Bijenkorf, David Jones and Boutique 1.
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