European Woolmark Prize Winners Announced: These Are the Designers You Need to Know-------
The European winners have just been announced for this year’s International Woolmark Prize, which is arguably one of the most venerated awards in the fashion industry. Yesterday, at Paris’ Shangri-La Hotel, Germany’s Augustin Teboul (codesigned by Odély Teboul and Annelie Augustin) and Denmark’s Asger Juel Larsen were selected from ten nominees each in the women’s and men’s categories.
“It was a unanimous decision,” Véronique Nichanian, who designs the men’s collections for Hermès, told WWD. Larsen’s winning men’s look, a voluminous, supersoft cream ensemble, was intended to resemble a “human sheep.” Women’s designer Augustin Teboul, on the other hand, designs only in black. Augustin Teboul and Larsen were both awarded a prize of AU $50,000 (about $44,000 USD) to put toward production and developing their businesses.
The European regionals are one of five competitions hosted by Woolmark each year. The other geographical regions include the U.S., Asia, Australia, and the Middle East and India (where Emperor 1688 and Bird on a Wire were just announced as the men’s and women’s finalists). In each region, competitors submit one look each made entirely of merino wool, and a jury of industry leaders selects the winners. This year marks the first time Woolmark has awarded two individual men’s and women’s prizes.
After all finalists have been announced, the men’s designers will convene at London Collections: Men in January to compete for the international final. The women’s designers will meet in Beijing in March. The two overall winners will receive an additional AU $100,000 ($94,000 USD) and will also have the opportunity to sell their collection at international retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Harvey Nichols.