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International Woolmark Prize Announces Menswear Winner

Suket Dhir is the winner of the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize for Menswear.
Stuart McCullough, Suket Dhir, Haider Ackermann, Raffaello Napoleone and models | Source: Courtesy
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FLORENCE, Italy — Today, as part of its global media partnership with The Woolmark Company, BoF can reveal the winner of the 2016 International Woolmark Prize menswear competition is 35-year-old Indian designer Suket Dhir, who designs under the brand name Suketdhir.

The award was judged by a panel, including Haider Ackermann, designer; Imran Amed, founder and editor-in-chief, The Business of Fashion; Suzy Menkes, international editor, Vogue; Nick Sullivan, fashion director, Esquire; Masafumi Suzuki, editor-in-chief, GQ Japan; Linda Loppa, director of strategy and vision, Polimoda; Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive, Pitti Immagine and Stuart McCullough, managing director of The Woolmark Company. The award was presented at a special event during Florentine trade show Pitti Uomo

Suketdhir's win was a unanimous decision. "In fashion, I'm always looking for emotion, for the heartbeat, for the feeling that something excites me – it may come from an ancient skill, but it seems fresh to me," said Suzy Menkes of Suketdhir's collection. Designer Haider Ackermann agreed. "For me, it wasn't a hard decision," he said. Suketdhir fuses classic western tailoring with elements of Indian national dress, such as oversized proportions and lightweight fabrics. Traditional hand embroidery is used to create geometric, grid-like patterns, updating the classic quilting stitch.

Following the announcement, the designer said: “This is certainly very overwhelming, and everything that I needed right now. I’ve done what I could in India, and this is the best thing that could happen to me for me to move in a bigger way."

The final consisted of the six regional competition winners representing Asia, Australia, the British Isles, Europe, India, Pakistan and the Middle East, and the United States. Selected from a field of 70 global nominees, the regional winners were awarded AU$50,000 ($37,110) each in April. Suketdhir, Dhir's four-year-old label, was previously announced as the winner of the India, Pakistan and the Middle East regional competition in July. 

As the overall IWP menswear award winner, Dhir will receive an additional AU$100,000 (US$74,210) and the opportunity to stock his capsule collection in a variety of international retailers, including Harvey Nichols in London, 10 Corso Como in Milan, Beijing and Shanghai, Joyce Boutique in China, Saks Fifth Avenue in the US, Boutique 1 in the UAE, David Jones in Australia and online retailers Mytheresa.com and Matchesfashion.com.

The regional competitions' judging panels were drawn from high profile industry members and representatives of official bodies, such as the CFDA and the BFC. Globally, these included designers Thom BrowneFrancisco CostaWalter Van Beirendonck, John Varvatos and Roland Mouret; editors Ariel FoxmanStefano TonchiDylan Jones and Edwina McCann, stylist Sophia Neophitou; among many other notable figures.

International Woolmark Prize for Menswear Winner: Suketdhir

Runners Up:

USA SIKI IM

Europe Jonathan Christopher

British Isles Agi & Sam

Asia Munsoo Kwon

Australia P. Johnson

Editor's Note: This article was revised on 14 January, 2016. A previous version misstated the winner of the International Woolmark Prize as Sukhet Dhir. His name is Suket Dhir.

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