by Elise Diamantini
Siki Im & model
Siki Im & model

Siki Im was crowned the U.S. winner of Woolmark’s International Prize for menswear design on Tuesday night (July 21) at Milk Studios in New York City. The panel of judges comprised menswear execs such as Eric Jennings of Saks Fifth Avenue, John Varvatos, Michelle Lee of Woolmark and Steven Kolb of the CFDA.

Varvatos said in a statement, “The International Woolmark Prize is all about innovation. Siki is an out of the box thinker. He doesn’t walk the same path as everyone else and he truly understands the functionality and potential of Merino wool.”

Im was awarded AU$50,000 (U.S.$37,110) and will go on to represent the U.S. in the international competition, taking place in Florence, Italy in January 2016. He is required to create a capsule collection from Merino wool for the international competition. The winner will be awarded an additional AU$100,000 (U.S.$74,210) and the chance to sell the collection at stores such as Harvey Nichols, 10 Corso Como and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The Woolmark Company’s managing director Stuart McCullough said in a statement, “The International Woolmark Prize is our commitment to educating the next generation of fashion industry leaders about the extraordinary potential of Merino wool.”

The other menswear designers in competition for prize this year were David Hart, Cadet, Thaddeus O’Neil and Lucio Castro.

Tanya Taylor won in the womenswear category.