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Théallet Trumps The Woolmark Prize Competition

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“This is a proud day for me,” said Sophie Théallet (pictured) at yesterday’s announcement for the U.S. winner of the International Woolmark Prize, held at the Crosby Street Hotel, which drew nominees including Prabal Gurung, Naeem Khan, and Bibhu Mohapatra. The contest, which was revived this year after lying dormant since 2008, boasts impressive alum including then-unknown 1954 recipients Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. The winnings? $100,000 and a slot in the global competition held in London next February. (Théallet stands to collect an additional $100,000 towards a runway show plus luxury retail partners, including Harvey Nichols and Bergdorf Goodman.)

“This was an opportunity to give CFDA members a global platform,” said Steven Kolb, who spearheaded the project stateside along with co-judges Narciso Rodriguez, Sally Singer, and Linda Fargo (all came out for the affair). “It’s an important time in American fashion; twenty years ago we wouldn’t have even been invited to participate.” As for Théallet, winning was a full circle of sorts. “My grandfather had a knitwear factory in the South of France so this award is dear to my heart,” the former Alaïa apprentice told Style.com. For the competition, Théallet crafted a demure ensemble that read one part cropped sweater, one part corseted frock as an homage to her mother, who would pair her grandfather’s knits with sexy underpinnings. “To me, knitwear is about love,” she added. “It’s what you wrap yourself in, cuddle with, or wear like a boyfriend’s sweater. It’s something we all fall in love with.”

Photo: Neil Rasmus / BFAnyc.com

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