Kim Jones & Takashi Murakami Will Judge The 2020 International Woolmark Prize
To be selected a finalist for a high-profile fashion prize is one thing. To have your work picked and presided over by nine of the most influential people working in fashion and art today, well, that’s another thing altogether.
On February 17, this is exactly what the 2020 International Woolmark Prize finalists will find themselves up against as they present their collections to the newly appointed jury.
Rounding out the panel is Business of Fashion’s Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks, Vogue International Editor-at-Large Hamish Bowles (who you might recognise as the man who always slays the MET Gala red carpet), educator and advocate Sinead Burke, Farfetch Chief Brand Officer Holli Rogers and Shaway Yeh, the founder of cutting edge fashion consultancy yehyehyeh. No pressure.
“The International Woolmark Prize is an institution for the fashion industry and I am thrilled to participate,” said Dior Men Artistic Director Kim Jones in a statement. “The competition shines a light on diversity and innovation and I’m very happy to be a part of that.”
Each of the ten finalists were chosen by the Woolmark Company back in October last year. The use of Merino wool is a primary requirement for all finalists, as is a focus on supply chain transparency and traceability – the latter makes up the theme for the 2020 prize.
The fact the Woolmark Prize – which is one of the biggest and most prestigious of all the global fashion prizes – strives to incentivise greater sustainability in design can’t be understated. Especially right now, when it feels like globally, we’re at a tipping point in terms of climate policy and action.
In addition to announcing its 2020 judging panel, the International Woolmark Prize also announced a new award dedicated to one of its earliest winners, the late Karl Lagerfeld. In 1954, Mr Lagerfeld won the ‘coat’ category. He was only 21 years old.
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Karl Lagerfeld was just 21 years old when he won the coat category of the International #WoolmarkPrize in 1954. His coat, which has only been seen in black and white photography, was made of vivid yellow wool, and later put into production by @balmain. And the judges that year included #ChristianDior and #HubertdeGivenchy. In honour of the late icon, the inaugural #KarlLagerfeld Award for Innovation will celebrate a finalist who showcases outstanding creativity and innovation. "Karl was always looking for new talent - a rare, encouraging force, instrumental in the development of many young designers," says #CarineRoitfeld, the founder and editor-in-chief of @crfashionbook, whowill present the award at the final next month Discover more via the link in bio.
According to the Woolmark Company, the inaugural Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation will be presented to a finalist who showcases outstanding creativity and innovation, which were two of Lagerfeld’s most defining traits as a designer.
Adding to the intimidation factor of the winner’s announcement (or so we imagine), the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation will be presented by industry luminary, founder and Editor In-Chief of CR Fashion Book, Carine Roitfeld.
The winner of the innovation prize will receive $100,000, where the overall winner of the International Woolmark Prize will take home $200,000.
At this stage, either prize could go to anyone, given the level of talent in the mix this year. Keep watching, then, to see what cool young (sustainable) brand the judges choose to anoint.