Edward Crutchley and Colovos win 2019 International Woolmark Prize
Colovos, from husband and wife duo Michael and Nicole Colovos, received the womenswear award, while UK-based designer Edward Crutchley took home the menswear as well as the innovation award.
The event was held at Lindley Hall during London Fashion Week, marking the competition’s third return to the English capital.
Industry insiders including Alber Elbaz, Tim Blanks, Laura Brown, Sinead Burke, Gwendoline Christie, Julie Davies, David Fischer, Colette Garnsey, Marc Goehring, Gert Jonkers, Floriane de Saint Pierre and Sara Sozzani Maino composed the panel of judges.
“There were 12 great designers today from around the world,” fashion designer Alber Elbaz commented on Saturday. “It was quite wonderful to see designers from places like Korea, China and Sweden, because sometimes in fashion we think everything happens in Paris, so this was a reminder that the world is big and fashion comes from everywhere around the world.”
Hailing from the UK, Edward Crutchley was arguably the winner of the night. He received two awards for his unisex collection, which merged form and silhouette with sub-cultural references - all made using 100% Merino wool.
“I think it speaks volumes that there is a such a clear consensus on the winner of the International Woolmark Prize this year for Menswear and Innovation,” said Tim Blanks. “I don't think there's ever been a designer like Edward Crutchley in the competition. I find the whole idea of him being a winner and the figurehead of creative innovative use of wool in the fashion industry so exciting. I can't wait to see what's going to happen.”
“This win means everything,” says Crutchley. “It has changed my life forever. It's going to change the way I design and approach everything. I'm incredibly flattered,” added Crutchley.
Meanwhile, Michael and Nicole Colovos' womenswear collection was inspired by classic wool sportswear, updated with modern proportions and patterning techniques.
“Colovos’ work stood out for its quiet evidence,” Floriane de Saint Pierre commented. “Its pure design aesthetics, genuine functionality and the amazing and innovative use of super-light wool, combined with the founders’ attention to sustainability, make them deserve this great award and recognition.”
“Our goal was to create a luxury, modern collection with a fully sustainable proposition,” said Michael Colovos as he explained the recycling process behind the label.
Edward Crutchley and Colovos have each won an AU$200,000 cash prize and will receive mentoring, a Woolmark certification and the opportunity to be stocked in high-end fashion retailers such as Harvey Nichols and Mytheresa.com.
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