Woolmark Prize announces Australia & New Zealand winners
Womenswear brand Macgraw and menswear label Exinfinitas have been announced as the winners of the International Woolmark Prize Australia and New Zealand.
They were selected among a local entourage of the best emerging designer brands for their innovative work with Merino wool fibre, embracing both creativity and commercial sensibility.
"The level of talent was really high,” explains fashion designer, Jason Wu, one of the judges on the panel. “All of the designers showed a great balance of creativity and commercialisation, which is integral today."
The Australia and New Zealand region final was held at an awards event in Sydney. Other members of the judging panel included: Richard Nicoll, fashion designer; Nick Smith, group publisher, NewsLifeMedia; Emily Taylor, editor of InStyle Australia; Kellie Hush, editor in-chief Harper’s Bazaar; Glenn Elliott, senior buyer David Jones; Damian Burke, general manager womenswear, David Jones; Colette Garnsey, core brands director, Premier Investments; and Mitchell Oakley Smith, fashion editor.
Exinfinitas, helmed by designer Lukas Vincent, mixed surf culture with tailoring for his win, using wool in different weights and textures to offer a modern take on menswear.
“Lukas came with a sharp point of view, a plan, a unique use of wool - he really transformed the material and definitely stood out as the clear winner,” said Wu.
Meanwhile, Macgraw sister duo, Beth and Tessa MacGraw, showed a two-piece look made up of a wool overcoat with hand embroidered Merino wool flowers, and a wool dress.
Both winners gain a financial contribution of AU$50,000 and will receive mentoring support from a global panel of experts along with being granted a Woolmark licence.
They will represent Australia and New Zealand in the prestigious international final, taking place during London Collections Men for menswear and in Paris in January 2017 for womenswear.
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