NEW TALENTS: 12 emerging brands for the International Woolmark Prize 2017-18 (part 2)

The International Woolmark Prize global final will be held in Florence at Stazione Leopolda, on 9th January 2018 during the first day of Pitti Uomo. The awards will go to 2 winners among 12 finalists. Let’s meet the 6 finalists for menswear. 
The International Woolmark Prize is an annual award organized by the Woolmark Company to celebrate the talent of emerging designers and to showcase the most innovative possibilities of Merino wool through their creations.

Before the international final the prize is divided into 6 regional awards: Asia, Australia and New Zealand, British Isles, Europe, India-Pakistan-Middle East, Usa. Every regional winner is financially rewarded and can partecipate to the final that for this edition 2017-18 will be held in Florence. 

The selection phase at International Woolmark Prize
The entry to partecipate is by invitation only, through regional nominal bodies (like Vogue Italia or the British Fashion Council among the others) and open to brands that have produced wholesale collections for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 8 years and are already recognized in their region.

Cottweller won the 2016-17 edition for menswear

Among 65 initial candidates selected by regional bodies were selected 12 finalists, 6 for menswear and 6 for womenswear, and during the final  will be rewarded two winners, who will both win important financial prizes amounting to 200000 AUD (around 132000 €) as support for their business, plus the possibility to commercialize their collections within leading stores in each of the key regions and a mentoring support to ensure a bright future to the young designers. 

Another important prize this year will be the "Innovation Award", that will be given to the most innovative designer as stimulus to be more experimental  and creative in the design process and textile development of wool yarns. The winner will receive a prize of 100000 AUD (66500 €).

Here the 6 global finalists for menswear.

ANTAR-AGNI was launched in 2014 by the designer Ujjiawal Dubey, graduated at NIFT in Kolkata with a specialization in textile design. The debut collection was presented at Lakme Fashion Week in the Gennext category and the brand won many important awards, like the "Best Upcoming Designer of Menswear" at the "Grazia Young Fashion Awards" (2015) or the "Elle GraduateAward" (2016). He was also named in the 30 under 30 list by Forbes India 2017.

The designer's style starts by the concept that fabrics have their own character that is waiting to be discovered through clothing design process. Intellectual and with a kind of mystical aura that surround him, the designer expresses with the label his philosophy, through relaxed silhouettes, raw and natural materials, simple and smart cuts both for male and female clothing. 

collections by ANTAR-AGNI

BLAIRARCHIBALD, currently based in Melbourne, is a label launched in 2013 by the designer Blair Archibald, graduated at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. The brand wants to support local industry in New Zealand and Australia perpetuating the tradition of classic menswear revisited with a style that mixes tailoring, sportswear and workwear.
Focused on practicality, basic shapes and comfort, the menswear collections are timeless and often inspired by geographical explorations, realized with high-quality and long-lasting materials.

collections by BLAIRACHIBALD

DYNE was launched in 2015 by the New York based designer Christopher Bevans, who studied at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and started his career as apprentice in a local tailoring house, while explored textile characteristics and potentiality learning from Jack Sauma of Mood Fabrics, one of the world's most important fabric retailers. Thanks to his determination, restless work and high level skills in craftsmanship and tailoring, Bevans won the 2004 "CFDA Menswear Award" as part of the "Sean John design team". Before launching his brand, he worked as creative director for Nike's Blue Ribbon Sports Division (currently Nike Sportswear) and created designs for Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West.
DYNE, inspired by the Greek word for dynamism, meaning power and force, expressed by a urban street-style which blends sports lines, new technological details and natural materials.

collections by DYNE

L'HOMME ROUGE is a Swedish brand started as an undefined project by different people with a common passion for design, society and art. Since 2013 the project grew becoming a full-range menswear brand. Among the successful ideas launched by the brand there was also a knitted cap made for the university students in Lund, Sweden. The original founder John-Ruben and Carl-Johan Holtback and Axel Trӓgårdh were joined by the creative director Jonatan Hӓrngren, coming from the Danish Design School. In 2015 the label won the "Habit Awards Newcomer of the Year".
The brand's mission is to disfavor the current trend to over-consumption through sustainable design and quality for a better future.  

collections by L'HOMME ROUGE

The eponymous label was launched by the Stoke-on-Trent born designer MATTHEW MILLER, graduated at Royal Collegeof Arts in London. The designer participated to the project "Fashion East Menswear Installations" and to "Talents for White", the prestigious fashion incubator dedicated to ready-to-wear. 
The Miller's style is characterized by an attentive observation of the world, from which everyday details can become source of inspiration for something simple and extraordinary at the same time. A mix and match of suggestions, traditional tailoring, new technologies, classic materials and innovative concepts.

collections by MATTHEW MILLER

Six Lee was the first Chinese-born student graduated at the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 2009. Previously part of the menswear design team at Alexander McQueen, Six Lee launched his namesake label SIXLEE in 2011. 
Inspired by a modern sense of romanticism, by music, flowers and poetry, his collections mix dreamy details to clean cuts and extravagant proportions, fusing male silhouettes and female moods into a contemporary and refined style.

collections by SIXLEE