NEW TALENTS: 12 emerging brands for the International Woolmark Prize 2017-18 (part 1)

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The International Woolmark Prize comes back to Florence, where will be rewarded the 2 winners of the global final at Stazione Leopolda on 9th January 2018, during the first day of Pitti Uomo. Here’s a spotlight on the first 6 designers among the 12 finalists.

The International Woolmark Prize is one of the most prestigious award for emerging designers. Launched to showcase the unique qualities of merino wool by the Woolmark Company, the global authority of wool, since 1953 this prize has celebrated the talent of young fashion designers who became real myths, such as Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent.

Karl Lagerfel and Yves Saint Laurent won the Woolmark Prize in 1953

Chosen from 65 initial candidates by a jury that is an impressive list of fashion celebrities and magazines editors (like Phillip Lim, Amber Valletta, Andrè Leon Talley, Damir Doma, Emanuele Farneti, Kate Lanphear or Miroslava Duma),  and 12 finalists of menswear and womenswear, will be reaward two winners (one for menswear and one for womenswear). 

Gabriela Hearst won the 2016-17 edition of  International Woolmark Prize for womenswear

The prizes are remarkable. They will both win a prize of 200000 AUD (132000 €) to support their business while their capsule collections will be commercialized in prestigious partner stores worldwide. Main theme of this edition is innovation in the field of wool yarns. In fact for the first time another winner will be rewarded with the “Innovation Award” and granted with 100000 AUD (66500 €), a prize that wants to emphasize the creative use of wool yarns and the innovation in the respect of  envinronment and ethical production.
Let’s know better the first 6 finalists for womenswear.

BODICE is a brand founded by Ruchiva Sachdeva based in New Dehli in 2011, after her graduation at London College of Fashion. This label won many important awards, like the “Elle India Style Award for Breakthrough Designer” (2012) and the “Vogue India Fashion Fund/CFDA” (2014), while most recently the designer was on the “Forbes India’s 30 under 30” list.
BODICE reinvents the traditional female pieces through a basic and essential tailoring, a minimal taste and handcrafted fabrics woven by local artisans, with a great attention to sustainability of natural materials and production practice.

collections by BODICE

Graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in The Haugue in 2012, DAVID LAPORT presented his female collections in several fashion shows during the Amsterdam Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week (with the support of Dutch Vogue). He also collaborated with the Dutch National Ballett and made many red carpet creations for celebrities like Solange Knowles and Sia. 
Often inspired by sculptoreal shapes, his light creations are a hymn to femininity interpreted with modern silhouettes, asymmetries and volumes that express a deep sense of grace and sophistication.

collections by DAVID LAPORT


HARMAN GRUBIŠA is a womenswear label founded in 2014 by the design duo Madeleine Harman and Jessica Grubiša, who fused their different visions in a unique contemporary female brand. Coming and living both in New Zealand, the two designers have previously worked for several years in fashion industry with many roles, from design to fashion styling. At the New Zealand Fashion Week the brand presented its a/w 2017 collection with the partnership of Mercedes Benz, having a great success and positive critics. 
HARMAN GRUBIŠA is a label focused on classic silhouettes revisited with a modern twist and strong concepts, a long-lasting quality, an innate sense of timeless elegance, luxorious materials and simply but sophisticated details. 

collections by HARMAN GRUBIŠA
KYE is a brand launched with the a/w 2011 at London Fashion Week by Kathleen Hanhee Kye, graduated at Central Saint Martins. The designer was soon noted by the press and k-pop stars after her partecipation at Seoul Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week as a member of Concept Korea.
The designer finds her inspirations by current social problems like the violence at school, the youth unemployment or the homeless conditions, which are turned into a optimistic high-end streetwear mixed to a unique and joyful aesthetic and an ironic point of view.

collections by KYE

Samantha McCoach founded LE KILT in 2014 to continue the familiar tradition of kilt makers. Looking her grandmother making kilts and other classic tartan pieces, the designer decided to transform them into a modern wardrobe, with references to modern history and with a great attention given to artisanal tailoring techiques. 
Simplicity of shapes, perfect cuts and a sense of relaxed and calm comfort that only well-done garments can give, are the main characteristics of this label.

collections by THE KILT

Graduated at Central Saint Martins school, the British designer ZAID AFFAS founded is eponymous label in 2014, after working experiences at Ports 1961 and Ralph Lauren. Living in different cities around the globe, the designer blends experiences and multicultural perspectives in a unique style. 
Conceptual designs based on natural and organic inspirations are transformed into architectural shapes perfectly tailored, which play with simple color palettes to emphasize the female beauty and a new contemporary luxury.
collections by ZAID AFFAS

I’ll wait you for the next post about the 6 menswear finalists of International Woolmark Prize 2017-18.

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