by Stephen Garner
2016/17 International Woolmark Prize menswear winners Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty of Cottweiler,
with womenswear winner Gabriela Hearst (center).

Cottweiler and Gabriela Hearst were announced the winners of the menswear and womenswear 2016/2017 International Woolmark Prize, presented at a special event at the iconic Palais de Tokyo in Paris. The return of the International Woolmark Prize to Paris salutes the original awards, initiated by the International Wool Secretariat in 1953. This year, the menswear and womenswear awards have been held together for the first time at one prestigious event.

Representing the British Isles, Cottweiler’s winning International Woolmark Prize collection comprises sheer Merino wool base-layers, windproof mid-layers and quilted waterproof outerwear, with wool-blend fabrics ranging from 18.5 microns through to 19.5 microns, and recycled wool scraps used for insulation. The resultant collection brings Cottweiler’s brand of fetish-infused cult and tribe codes into the world of wool, with utilitarian detailing – padded hoods, detachable cargo pockets, running caps, and elasticized hems and cuffs, for example – at its core.

“Winning the International Woolmark Prize gives us the opportunity to share what we do with a much bigger, global audience,” said Cottweiler after the win. “But for us, the great part of this was the opportunity to work with a different material – Merino wool – because we’re always interested in experimenting with technology and development.”

“Cottweiler doesn’t want to show off and are very relaxed and confident in themselves and what they show,” said Hood by Air creative director Shayne Oliver. “They know where to go with this funding and it will give them the push to get to the level they deserve to be at.”

“Paris has always been a key market for wool,” added The Woolmark Company managing director Stuart McCullough. “It is not only home to some of the world’s most iconic luxury fashion houses, but also to some of the world most fashion-forward, savvy consumers. Bringing the International Woolmark Prize back to Paris shines the spotlight on fashion’s next generation, and I congratulate both Cottweiler and Gabriela Hearst on their well-deserved wins.”

Both Cottweiler and Gabriela Hearst will each receive AU$100,000 to support the development of their business. They will also receive ongoing industry mentor support, Woolmark certification for their winning collection and the opportunity to be stocked in some of the world’s most prestigious department stores and boutiques. These include Boutique 1, Boon the Shop, David Jones, Harvey Nichols, Hudson’s Bay Company, Isetan, Lane Crawford, LECLAIREUR,, The Papilion and All finalists’ collections will also become available for wholesale purchase via