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Mar 31, 2020
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Applications open for 2021 International Woolmark Prize

Published
Mar 31, 2020

It has been slightly over a month since Richard Malone was crowned the winner of the 2020 International Woolmark Prize, but the prestigious international competition has already begun looking for the next big talent.


This year's winner Richard Malone (centre-right) pictured with the winner of the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, Emily Adams Bode (centre-left) - Photo: The Woolmark Prize


Applications for the 2021/21 talent programme are now open, with emerging designers from all over the world encouraged to apply via the online portal on woolmarkprize.com.

All submissions will be reviewed by an Advisory Council of industry experts, who will look for  designers in the early stages of their career who have shown promise and dedication in growing a sustainable business.

Ten finalists will have access to The Woolmark Company’s Innovation Academy, an 18-month education and mentoring programme covering everything from product development and research to business and sustainability strategies. And they will receive AU$70,000 (about $40,000) to develop a capsule collection to be presented at a final event in early 2021.

The overall winner of the International Woolmark Prize will receive AU$200,000 (about $120,000), with a second winner, recognised with the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, receiving a prize fund of AU$100,000 (about $60,000).

Winners and finalists will also have the opportunity to have their Merino wool capsule collections sold in the world’s top boutiques and department stores such as Browns, Harvey Nichols, David Jones, Matchesfashion.com and Mytheresa.com.

“There is no singular way to celebrate innovation and creativity and we also know this is not confined by geographical or cultural borders,” said The Woolmark Company managing director Stuart McCullough. 

“By opening the entry process online we can ensure the International Woolmark Prize has the potential to benefit designers from every corner of the globe.”

Held at London Fashion Week, the final of this year’s Woolmark Prize saw ten designers play with Merino wool to highlight the fibre’s versatile and innovative nature. For the first time in the competition’s history, all pieces had to be completely traceable.

Irish designer Richard Malone won the 2020 prize, while Emily Adams Bode was presented with the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation.

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