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These are the six emerging design talents who’ve been selected for the 2021 International Woolmark Prize

WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

The best of the best.

The International Woolmark Prize is one of the world’s most prestigious fashion awards. It’s known for cultivating incredible talent from around the world, helping shape the trajectory of the fashion industry and develop a greater appreciation for sustainable practices. As well as sustainability, the prize focuses on supply-chain transparency, product excellence, inclusivity and innovation.

The prize’s Advisory Council chose the six talented finalists for 2021 – Bethany Williams and Matty Bovan from the UK, French-Morrocan menswear label Casablanca, French-Canadian label Lecavalier, Kenneth Ize from Nigeria and Thebe Magugu from South Africa – from over 380 applicants from 55 countries, hailing from Australia all the way to Peru.

The 2021 Advisory Council is made up of fashion industry heavyweights, including model, businesswoman and activist Naomi Campbell, Livia Firth, the founder of Eco Age and Laura Brown, the editor-in-chief of InStyle magazine.

Speaking about her role on the Advisory Council, Campell said the following: “It is my pleasure to support the International Woolmark Prize. Now more so than ever, in these incredibly challenging times for our industry, we must continue to support and nurture the emerging voices in fashion design. They are the future, and I look forward to seeing what creative and innovative work comes out of this year’s entries to push our industry’s ongoing mission in diversity and sustainability.”

The six finalists will present a Merino wool collection and will highlight the transparency across their supply chains by using technology from Blue Bite and a Common Objective sustainability roadmap. Fittingly, the 2021 theme is “less is more”, encouraging the finalists to celebrate slow, responsibly-produced fashion.

The winner of the International Woolmark Prize will receive $200,000 to invest in the development of their business, while the $100,000 Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation will once again be presented, and can be awarded to a finalist or the main prize winner. This year’s awards also sees the introduction of the Woolmark Supply Chain Award, which will celebrate outstanding contribution from a trade partner in driving awareness for wool supply chain innovation.

Each finalist will also have the opportunity to be stocked in some of the world’s leading stores. To find out more about each finalist, head here.

woolmarkprize.com

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