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Woolmark Prize judges revealed and Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation launched

Tom Bottomley
21 January 2020

The Woolmark Company has today announced the judges for the 2020 International Woolmark Prize – including Dior Men artistic director, Kim Jones – as well the introduction of the inaugural Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation in honour of the late icon who was the first ever winner of the Woolmark Prize back in 1954.

The final announcement event for the Woolmark Prize will take place during London Fashion Week on 17 February 2020. One overall winner will receive AU$200,000 and one designer will receive AU$100,000 for the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation.

Kim Jones said: “The International Woolmark Prize is an institution for the fashion industry, and I am thrilled to participate. The competition shines a light on diversity and innovation and I’m very happy to be a part of that.”

Karl Lagerfeld, only sixteen years old wins the International Wool Secretariat prize in the section of coats in 1954.

Joining Jones on the panel of leading experts and tastemakers in the global fashion industry are Edward Enninful OBE, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Hamish Bowles, international editor at large for Vogue, Tim Blanks, editor-at-large of the Business of Fashion, Holli Rogers, CEO of Browns and chief brand officer for Farfetch, Shaway Yeh, founder of yehyehyeh and group style editorial director at Modern Media group, Takashi Murakami - artist and president of Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd, supermodel and philanthropist, Anja Rubik, and educator and advocate, Sinead Burke.

The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, will be presented to a finalist who showcases outstanding creativity and innovation, characteristics which led to Lagerfeld’s history-making success.

The award will be presented by Carine Roitfeld, editor-in-chief of CR Book. She said: “Karl was always looking for new talent - a rare, encouraging force, instrumental in the development of many young designers.

“In today’s global fashion business, discovering, nurturing, and providing a platform of recognition for innovating creatives is absolutely crucial.”

Now in its eighth year, the International Woolmark Prize remains the leading talent incubation program, crossing borders and cultures to discover, nurture and celebrate outstanding talents who “showcase the beauty and versatility of Merino wool.”

The 2020 International Woolmark Prize finalists include A-COLD-WALL* from the UK, Bode and Matthew Adams Dolands – both from the USA, Namacheko from Belgium, Richard Malone from Ireland, Botter from the Netherlands, Ludovic de Saint Sernin from France, GmbH from Germany, Feng Chen Wang from China and the UK, and Blindness from South Korea.

The 2020 finalists have focused on traceability and adding transparency to their supply chains. To support finalists, the International Woolmark Prize has partnered with Provenance, a platform that enables businesses to outline the origin, journey and impact behind products.

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