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International Woolmark Prize Announces Womenswear Winner

Teatum Jones is the winner of the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear
Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones with models wearing their designs | Source: Courtesy
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  • BoF Team
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NEW YORK, United States — Today, as part of its global media partnership with The Woolmark Company, BoF can reveal the winner of the 2016 International Woolmark Prize womenswear competition is London-based label Teatum Jones.

The award was judged by a panel, including Julie Gilhart, fashion consultant; Imran Amed, founder and editor-in-chief, The Business of Fashion; Stefano Tonchi, editor-in-chief, W; André Leon Talley; Tim Blanks, editor-at-large, The Business of Fashion; Thakoon Panichgul, chief creative officer, Thakoon; Roopal Patel, fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue; and Stuart McCullough, managing director of The Woolmark Company. It was a presented at a special event, which included a runway show, during New York Fashion Week.

Designers Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones were recognised among the judges for their ability to beautifully transform wool. First, the duo travelled to Foxford Woolen Mills in Mayo, Ireland, to create blankets with geometric foil prints and hand embroideries in primary colours, which were then fashioned into skirts and jackets. They also partnered with a mill in Northern France that specialises in guipure lace to create a geometric lace out of Merino wool, a first for the 130-year-old manufacturer. Finally, they visited Italy to develop a stretch wool bonded with the Merino lace that was used to create more structured, tailored pieces.

“The support that you get from Woolmark…. If they see that you’re passionate about wool, the tools they give you to run with it are amazing,” Jones said following the announcement. Added Teatum, “If you want to educate yourself about this fibre, they will give you every opportunity.”

While Teatum Jones triumphed, the judges were impressed by the group as a whole. "Every single one of the competitors did an amazing job," said Gilhart, who also serves as an official International Woolmark Prize mentor. While the mandate to use and experiment with wool is what sets this competition apart, the opportunity for the collection to be sold at participating retailers is another key differentiator. As the overall IWP womenswear award winner, Teatum and Jones will receive an additional AU$100,000 (US$74,210) and the opportunity to stock their capsule collection in a variety of international retailers, including Harvey Nichols in London, Boon the Shop in South Korea, Verso in Belgium, Saks Fifth Avenue in the US, Boutique 1 in the UAE, David Jones in Australia and online retailer Mytheresa.com. "Every single piece can be commercialised immediately," Gilhart pointed out.

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. Teatum Jones was previously announced as the winner of the British Isles competition in July.

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 Browne, Francisco Costa, Walter Van Beirendonck, John Varvatos and Roland Mouret; editors Ariel Foxman, Stefano Tonchi, Dylan Jones and Edwina McCann, stylist Sophia Neophitou; among many other notable figures.

International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear Winner: Teatum Jones

Runners Up:

USA Tanya Taylor

Europe Nanna Van Blaaderen

India, Pakistan and the Middle East Taller Marmo

Asia J Koo

Australia Bianca Spender

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