In the spirit of investing in the future of fashion, the finalists of the International Woolmark Prize, or the IWP, have been announced. To bring the finalists’ presentations to life, Woolmark is tapping Solange Knowles and her studio, Saint Heron, allowing the singer and her team to put their own spin on the visuals. From images to a hero film and more, viewers can expect guest appearances from legendary singer Dionne Warwick and Pose actress-turned-runway model Domonique Jackson.
Six talented brands and designers from around the world will take part in Woolmark’s highly specific, 18-month incubation program. Representing five countries, the list of IWP finalists includes Bethany Williams and Matty Bovan from the United Kingdom, French-based brand Casablanca, Kenneth Ize of Nigeria, Lecavalier from Canada, and fan-favorite Thebe Magugu from South Africa.
“I feel like fashion is readying itself for some big change—not so much in style, shape, or silhouette but in sourcing, fabrics, fabrication, and logistics,” Edward Enninful, editor in chief of British Vogue and member of the IWP’s Innovation Academy, said of this year’s award program. “Whether fashion will ever be ‘sustainable’ remains a big question, but the desire to change things for the better is a notion that seems to resonate with many of this year’s participants in the Woolmark Prize.”
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The prize is designed with a focus on product innovation and creation, and is meant to assist each participant through mentorship, workshops, and other educational activities. IWP has famously honored such luminaries as Karl Lagerfeld, and its inherently sustainable nature—wool is very eco-friendly—also makes it incredibly modern. Each of the six finalists will receive AU$60,000 (about $47,000) to create their own Merino collection, with the grand prize winner scoring AU$200,000 (about $155,000) and the Karl Lagerfeld Innovation Award recipient getting AU$100,000 (about $77,500).
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