The International Woolmark Prize has announced the finalists of its 2021 competition, with six designers named on the list. The prize, which was won by Richard Malone last year, is awarded to a designer for a collection produced in Merino wool that also shows transparency throughout the supply chain.

For 2021, the competition has the theme of “less is more” and a focus on “slow and responsibly produced fashion and craftmanship.” The six finalists this year are Bethany Williams, Casablanca, Kenneth Ize, Lecavalier, Matty Bovan and Thebe Magugu. These designers were chosen from over 380 applicants based across 55 countries.

The finalists were chosen by the International Woolmark Prize’s Advisory Council, which is made up of leading names from across the fashion industry. Speaking about the list of six, Naomi Campbell, a new member of the Advisory Council, said, “Now more so than ever, in these incredibly challenging times for our industry, we must continue to support and nurture the emerging voices in fashion design. They are the future, and I look forward to seeing what creative and innovative work comes out of this year’s entries to push our industry’s ongoing mission in diversity and sustainability.”

Sinéad Burke, another member of the expert panel, echoed Campbell’s statement, “The International Woolmark Prize has never been more needed – a conduit to educate and provoke new ideas and ways of working invoking sustainability, accessibility and equity. With mentoring and funding, it shapes the trajectory for a new generation of designers in a meaningful and transformative way. IWP connects people and planet, understanding the connectivity and agency between the two.”

The winner of the prize will receive $200,000 AUD (approximately $146,000 USD) to invest in their business, while another designer will win the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation. This award, which launched last year and was first one by Bode, comes with a prize of $100,000 AUD (approximately $73,000 USD). Keep an eye out for more news on the winner of each award.

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