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International Woolmark Prize Announces 2021 Finalists

The winner will receive AU$200,000 and an opportunity to be sold at retailers around the globe.
The International Woolmark Prize 2020 finalists. Photo: Lucy Owen.
The International Woolmark Prize 2020 finalists. Photo: Lucy Owen.

The International Woolmark Prize, one of the longest-running fashion prizes awarded to young talent, has announced its next round of finalists.

The United Kingdom’s Bethany Williams and Matty Bovan, France’s Casablanca, Nigeria’s Kenneth Ize, Canada’s Lecavalier and South Africa’s Thebe Magugu will compete for AU$200,000 (about $146,000) and an opportunity to be sold at retailers around the world, with the winner of the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation receiving AU$100,000. They beat out more than 380 applicants in 55 countries for the opportunity.

Some fashion competitions were halted or delayed in 2020 because of the coronavirus outbreak, including the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. (Instead, the two groups raised funds through A Common Thread, an initiative that awarded grants to US-based designers.)

The International Woolmark Prize’s judging panel — including educator, writer and activist Sinéad Burke, Garage magazine fashion director Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, talent scout the and BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks — will review the six finalists' Merino wool collections in February 2021. In a reflection of the times, the designers' missive is to build each item responsibly through a transparent supply chain, and celebrate the year’s theme of “less is more.”

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