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Christian Wijnants Wins 2013 International Woolmark Prize

LONDON, Feb. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Christian Wijnants was announced the winner of the 2013 International Woolmark Prize, during the final award event held at the ME Hotel.

For broadcast quality footage and high-res images, please visit the Multimedia News Release: http://medianet.multimediarelease.com.au/bundles/e4e91d34-cc15-48db-a94f-7b4d802ee4e5

Natalie Massenet, Chairman of the British Fashion Council opened the event; a judging panel including Victoria Beckham, Donatella Versace, Diane von Furstenberg, Franca Sozzani and Tim Blanks selected the winner.

"Christian invented a new shape and made it possible with an industrial production process," explained Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and L'Uomo Vogue. "His designs are flattering, feminine and sexy, a modern interpretation of wool."

After a global search spanning twelve months, reaching across sixteen countries and involving over seventy designers, six finalists representing Australia, China, Europe, India, Japan and the USA competed for the final international prize - of $100,000 AUD and the opportunity to be stocked in the most important boutiques around the globe including Harvey Nichols - London, Bergdorf Goodman - NY, 10 Corso Como - Milan, Joyce - China, David Jones - Sydney and Eickhoff Königsallee - Germany.

Dion Lee - Australia
Ban Xiao Xue - China
Christian Wijnants - Europe (Belgium)
Pankaj and Nidhi - India
DRESSEDUNDRESSED - Japan
Sophie Theallet - USA

The Woolmark Company Managing Director, Stuart McCullough said, "The International Woolmark Prize seeks outstanding and emerging talent from around the world, and we saw exceptional artisanship and design presented tonight. The prize is our commitment to supporting the future of the fashion industry and we are honoured to have received support from the global industry by way of our premier retail partners and judges both at the international and regional level."

Christian Wijnants capsule Merino wool collection featured at the awards was based on the simple idea of starting from a single white yarn and to explore all its potential. The designer worked with one type of yarn in 100% Merino Wool, on seamless garments, knitted in one piece.

The leading theme was based on hand-knitting and hand-dyeing techniques, using deep colours inspired by crystals and minerals, and experimenting to obtain unique shades and avoid shrinkage.

Every piece was dyed with innovative techniques, and some of them unravelled and then re-knitted to create a unique irregular effect.

The collection will be available in partner retailers globally as of September 2013.

The final award event featured NEXT Models, with make-up by MAC and hair by Lyndell Mansfield and team at CLM thanks to Bumble & Bumble. Official airline partner for the event was Qantas.

Visit: www.woolmarkprize.com

The Woolmark Company would like to recognise the valuable contribution from the following partners:

Final judging panel
Diane Von Furstenberg - Co-Chairman and Founder, DVF Studio LLC
Donatella Versace - Creative Director and Vice President of Gianni Versace S.p.A.
Franca Sozzani - Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia, L'Uomo Vogue Italia and Vogue.it. Editorial Director of Condé Nast Italia. "Goodwill Ambassador for Fashion 4 Development" for the UN
Tim Blanks - Editor-at-Large Style.com
Victoria Beckham
Andrew Keith - President of JOYCE and Lane Crawford
Carla Sozzani - Owner 10 Corso Como
Paula Reed - Group Fashion Director Harvey Nichols

Nominating bodies
* British Fashion Council
* China Fashion Association
* Council of Fashion Designers of America
* Czech Grand Design
* Fashion Design Council of India
* Flanders Fashion Institute
* Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association
* IMG Fashion Australia
* Japan Fashion Week Organization
* Korea Fashion Association
* The Lock Group
* Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid
* MTD, Turkey
* NOT JUST A LABEL
* Pakistan Fashion Design Council
* Premsela, The Netherlands Institute for Design and Fashion
* Stark Foundation
* UAE: Dubai Fashion Week
* Vogue Australia
* Vogue China
* Vogue France
* Vogue Italia

Retail partners
* Bergdorf Goodman
* David Jones
* Eickhoff Königsallee
* Harvey Nichols
* Joyce
* 10 Corso Como

About The Woolmark Company

The Woolmark is the world's best known textile fibre brand, established in 1964.

The Woolmark brand is owned by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), a not-for-profit company owned by over 27,000 woolgrowers. AWI's vision is to be a significant contributor to a vibrant, stable and profitable wool industry providing the world with the best natural fibre. The company works throughout the global supply chain - from woolgrowers through to retailers.

The company mission is to enhance the profitability, international competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian wool industry; and increase demand and market access for Australian wool.

Merino wool provides stability, resilience, softness and luxury to the tailoring industry. The fibre has long been a favourite of designers, but younger consumers, born in an era of 'disposable' fashion know too little about the natural benefits. Wool is a 100 per cent natural, biodegradable and renewable fibre.

Sheep live on grass, water, fresh air and sunshine. Wool is a fibre that is grown - not man-made. Every year sheep produce a new fleece; making wool a renewable fibre source.

www.woolmark.com

For more information and imagery please contact:

Melissa Grace
Melissa.grace@wool.com
Ph: +61 416 196 379

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