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15th March 2019, London

Edward Crutchley and Colovos scoop Woolmark Prize

The 2019 International Woolmark Prize was presented at an event during London Fashion Week last month. © The Woolmark Company

The 2019 International Woolmark Prize was presented at an event during London Fashion Week last month. © The Woolmark Company

Edward Crutchley and Colovos have been announced the winners of the menswear and womenswear 2019 International Woolmark Prize, presented at a star-studded event during London Fashion Week last month.

Crutchley was also announced the winner of the Innovation Award, celebrating the most innovative or sustainable approach to systems production, materials, textile design or product design.

The award, staged at Lindley Hall was judged by a highly esteemed panel, 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 along with representatives from the International Woolmark Prize retail partner network.

“There were 12 great designers today from around the world,” explained Alber Elbaz. “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.”

Edward Crutchley

Hailing from the UK, unisex label Edward Crutchley’s work is grounded in an innate understanding and appreciation of artisanal textiles. By exploring global cultural references and aspects of material culture, Crutchley’s garments explore the boundaries of form, silhouette and surface. Looking outside of traditional cultural signifiers to more sub-cultural references, Crutchley fuses a biker jacket with an 18th Century frock coat, reimagines the grungy tie-die on an American college knit with the help of the head of Kyoto Guild of Shibori Masters and references the cowboy's role within America's identity.

The 2019 International Woolmark Prize judges. © The Woolmark Company

The 2019 International Woolmark Prize judges. © The Woolmark Company

“This win means everything,” said Crutchley. “It has changed my life forever. It's going to change the way I design and approach everything. I'm incredibly flattered. All of these references come together in a collection made from 100% Merino wool. I have used a wide range of techniques that celebrate the touch of the artisan. My approach to innovation within this collection has been very much focused on artisanal skills and how these can be celebrated and used in a relevant and modern way. Every fabric I have used is exclusive and developed solely for this collection.”

Colovos

Husband and wife duo Michael and Nicole Colovos’ winning womenswear collection referenced classic wool sportswear and workwear throughout history yet updated this concept with modern proportions and patterning techniques. “Colovos’ work stood out for its quiet evidence,” explained Floriane de Saint Pierre. “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.”

Sourcing innovative wool fabrications with contemporary finishes that evoke the look and feel of denim and silk; comfortable, effortless and trans-seasonal wool fabrics were created. The tailored coats, pants and skirts are made from wool that is completely traceable, washable and colour- and shrink-proof.

“Our goal was to create a luxury, modern collection with a fully sustainable proposition,” said Michael Colovos. “We are committed to principles of zero waste in manufacturing, so all production waste and end-of-life garments will be recycled to create new fabrics, a process that uses steam, heat and citrus to breakdown the fabric waste and create a new fibre to be spun into fully recyclable yarns.”

The International Woolmark Prize

Chosen from more than 300 entrants from across the world, the 12 finalists at this year’s award were: Albus Lumen – Australia; Angel Chen – China; Brandon Maxwell – United States; CMMN SWDN – Sweden; Colovos – United States; Daniel w. Fletcher – United Kingdom; Edward Crutchley – United Kingdom; i-am-chen – Hong Kong; Nicholas Daley – United Kingdom; Willy Chavarria – United States; Yohei Ohno – Japan; and Youser – Korea.

Both Edward Crutchley and Colovos will each receive AU$ 200,000 to help support the development of their business. They will also receive ongoing industry mentor support, Woolmark certification for their winning collection and the opportunity to be stocked in some of the world’s most prestigious department stores and boutiques, including Boon The Shop, David Jones, Harvey Nichols, Hudson's Bay, Lane Crawford, Leclaireur, mytheresa.com, ORDRE, Parlour X and Takashimaya. Crutchley will receive AU$ 100,000, as well as ongoing industry mentor support and commercial opportunities.

www.woolmarkprize.com

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