The six finalists for the 2021 International Woolmark Prize have been announced after whittling down 380 applicants from over 55 different countries.
Next year the six finalists will be presenting a Merino wool collection (with a transparent supply chain) hingeing around the theme of "less is more" to prioritize the development of slow and responsibly-produced fashion. The collection will be judged by an advisory council of judges including Naomi Campbell and editor-at-large of Business of Fashion, Tim Blanks.
The prizes include the titular International Woolmark Prize feat. AU$200,000 (approximately $145,000) for business investment, and the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation that awards AU$100,000 (approx $72,000).
All finalists will have the opportunity to be stocked in some of the world’s leading stores, via the International Woolmark Prize Retailer Network.
Bethany Williams, UK
Bethany Williams sees fashion as a force for change, often collaborating with other creatives, social projects, and communities to give textiles a new lease of life.
Parisian label Casablanca hits that sweet middle spot between lux and leisure; a self-described modern reimagining of the timeless apes-sport aesthetic.
Kenneth Ize, Nigeria
Kenneth Ize’s brand is dedicated to preserving Nigerian craftsmanship, proving that luxury is intrinsic to African heritage. Read our interview with the designer here.
Founder of Lecavalier, Marie-Eve Lecavalier is the first Canadian finalist for the International Woolmark Prize. Her womenswear label pulls inspiration from the dreamy nostalgia of ’60s and ’70s psychedelia
Matty Bovan, UK
Matty Bovan is a UK designer from York who’s known for his sculptural, colorful pieces in which he lists artists Fiona Rae and Richard Prince as an inspiration. He’s also worked at Louis Vuitton and in 2015 he was awarded the LVMH graduate prize.
Thebe Magugu, South Africa
Thebe Magugu is a South-African designer operating primarily in womenswear; his luxurious designs already won him the LVMH Prize in 2019 at 26 years old, the youngest of all the applicants.