The judges for the U.S. portion of this year’s International Woolmark Prize have been announced. Among them are CFDA president Steven Kolb, former Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley, InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown, Woolmark’s Michelle Lee, and other industry heavyweights.
The American designer nominees include Death to Tennis, N-p-Elliott, Palmiers du Mal, Claudia Li, PH5, and Protagonist, all of whom have been tasked with designing looks made entirely of wool. (See the entire breakdown of the competition here.) Two chosen designers—one menswear and one womenswear—will go on to compete for the global title. The American finalists will be announced July 18, with the final two winners unveiled in January.
There’s quite a bit of money at stake here. Regional finalists receive AU$70,000 (or $53,459 at the current exchange rate), and the final, final winners will take home AU$200,000 (or $152,740). Last year’s prize, if you’ll recall, went to womenswear designer Gabriela Hearst and London menswear label Cottweiler.
It’s worth noting that this year’s Woolmark Prize is a bit different, with increased prize money (the international finalists will get 50 percent more) and a newly added Innovation Award (similar to ANDAM’s).
Watch this space to find out which of the 10 American designers will move on to the next level of the competition, and who, out of the 64 designers, will take it all.