International designers compete for top wool wear fashion prize

India and the Middle East will be represented at the finals of the International Woolmark Prize for menswear in January

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India and the Middle East will be represented at the finals of the International Woolmark Prize for menswear in January.

Indian national, Suket Dhir, will be joining the finalists at what is described as the most important menswear fashion trade event in the world - Pitti Immagine Uomo in Florence.

Dhir and the five other finalists from around the globe will present Merino wool collections in the historical Villa Favard, the headquarters of Florence’s renowned Polimoda - International Institute of Fashion Design and Business.

The overall winner will pick up $73,000 and see their collection stocked in the world’s leading fashion stores including.

Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine, said: “The history of our relationship with Woolmark is long and positive, and it was natural to join forces on this project. This important collaboration for the International Woolmark Prize for menswear is yet another confirmation of Pitti Uomo’s leading position in men’s fashions and its irreplaceable role as a platform for research, promotion and launching young designers.”

The annual Pitti Uomo, held in Florence, Italy, is said to be the world’s most important trade platform for men’s clothing and accessory collections.

The International Woolmark Prize for menswear challenges designers to use Australia’s finest Merino wool to create Italian styles.

The other five finalists are: Munsoo Kwon from South Korea, Agi & Sam from the British Isles, Jonathan Christopher from the Netherlands, America’s Siki Im, and P.Johnson from Australia.

Their works will be judged by a panel of leading global designers and industry heavyweights.

The competition started out in 1953 as a women’s wear event, it was won by Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in 1954.

It was brought back to life four years ago to promote new stars of fashion, and the menswear category was introduced in 2014 in London.

The Woolmark Company is a subsidiary of Australian Wool Innovation, a not-for-profit enterprise owned by more than 25,000 woolgrowers that invests in research, development and marketing along the worldwide supply chain for Australian wool.

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