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International Woolmark Prize sees a refresh with two-year extension

By Rachel Douglass


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IWP winners of 2023. Credits: International Woolmark Prize.

The International Woolmark Prize has announced a series of strategic updates to the initiative as it looks to better support the emerging fashion talent it awards in upcoming editions.

The latest changes come ahead of this year’s chapter in the programme, for which applications are open from April 16 to June 30, after which an advisory council will come together to select finalists and later a winner, who is to receive 300,000 Australian dollars.

This year will mark the first time the award will stretch over a two-year programme, in an attempt to provide participants with more time to focus on innovation. There will also be a more enhanced focus on sustainability through judging criteria, though exact details on such changes have not yet been disclosed.

In addition to this, the Karl Lagerfeld Award is another area to get an update, with the concept to be expanded to an “industry award” presented to “any brand within the fashion industry that has pushed the boundaries of Merino wool innovation”.

In a release, John Roberts, managing director of Woolmark, said: “The International Woolmark Prize is committed to supporting young talent. To do this effectively, designers need more financial support, better access to sustainable materials and time to innovate with the latest technology. Our revised programme aligns more closely with the evolving needs of the industry.”

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