The Woolmark Company has announced Christopher Bevans of DYNE and Zaid Affas as the menswear and womenswear winners of the 2017/18 International Woolmark Prize USA regional final. The event was held at NeueHouse Madison Square in New York City.
Chosen from a grouping of the most promising fashion design talents from the USA, both winners will receive a financial contribution of AU$70,000, plus the opportunity to compete in the prestigious international finals. For the next six-to-seven months, the winning designers will develop a six-piece capsule collection in Merino wool, to be showcased at International Woolmark Prize finals, alongside the other regional winners from around the globe.
International Woolmark Prize Judge and CEO of the CFDA, Steven Kolb offered the following of the winning designers, “American fashion is well represented with this year’s winners of the Woolmark Prize. I’m extra excited to see both brands coming from the West Coast. The support and opportunity The Woolmark Company provides young talent is significant and is providing real business advancement for the designers.”
Fellow judge and brand consultant/strategist, Kate Lanphear, shared her thoughts on menswear winner DYNE. “What I loved was the humble way he spoke about the fabric with reverence — that was something that really got my attention,” she stated, adding that “his pieces were so extremely innovative, yet he still spoke so humbly about them and about wool, it seemed holy, and I really liked that exchange.”
As DYNE and Zaid Affas move on to compete in the International Woolmark Prize, the winner will receive a further AU$200,000 to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection, as well as mentoring from industry experts. A third winner will also be selected at the finals as part of the newly introduced Innovation Award. The winner of the International finals will have the opportunity to have their collection distributed through the prize’s prestigious international retail partner network including Boon the Shop, S. Korea; Boutique 1, UAE; David Jones, Australia; De Bijenkorf, Amsterdam; Harvey Nichols, UK; Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada; LECLAIREUR, Paris; Mytheresa.com; ORDRE and SSENSE.COM.