IWP will provide support and mentorship to twelve selected finalists with an equivalent of AED150,000 financial contribution towards their next collection
UAE, Dubai 28 April 2015: The Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC) today announced its official support of the regional International Woolmark Prize for India & Middle East. For the first time in the UAE, the prize will be revealed at a ceremony to be held on the 22nd of July 2015 in Dubai.
The International Woolmark Prize has grown to become one of the most coveted designer awards of our time, with hundreds of participants across the world. Regional awards are held in Shanghai, Sydney, Antwerp, New York, and London. Dubai, with its growing design and fashion community, is a natural choice as the newest destination to host the regional award ceremony.
The twelve selected finalists will receive support and mentorship from IWP Prize along with AUD$50,000 (equivalent to AED150,000) financial contribution towards their next collection as well as an invitation to participate in the international final.
Nominees will present sketches of a Merino wool capsule collection comprising of six outfits, with one full outfit to be produced. The collections will be judged by a panel of soon to be announced local and international experts.
The International Woolmark Prize is an award for the next generation, shifting the focus from glamour to true talent as a way to highlight wool’s eco credentials. It is TWC’s way of encouraging social commitment, sharing of resources and supporting local artisans. The International Woolmark Prize is a way to express talent which aligns the support of emerging designers with the evolution of emerging countries.
The India & Middle East nominees for the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize are:
• Akaaro, India
• Nachiket Barve, India
• Sania Maskatiya, Pakistan
• TallerMarmo, UAE
• Bleach, UAE
• Misha Lakhani, Pakistan
• Bashar Assaf, Lebanon
• Mira Hayek, Lebanon
• Republic, Pakistan
• Suket Dhir, India
• Thamanyah, UAE
The six menswear finalists will meet at an event held during PITTI UOMO, Florence in January 2016 and the six womenswear finalists will meet in New York in February 2016. The winners of both the menswear and womenswear finals will receive a further AUD$100,000 (equivalent to AED300,000) to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection. In addition, both international winners will have their collection commercialised through key international retail partners including Harvey Nichols in the UK, Joyce, China, Saks Fifth Avenue in the US, 10 Corso Como Italy and Shanghai, Mytheresa.com, Matchesfashion.com and David Jones in Australia.
Nez Gebreel, CEO of the Council commented: “We are here to seize global opportunities to position Dubai as an international hub for design. There is a tremendous amount of creativity and positive energy in the region’s industry and partnering with the International Woolmark prize is a great opportunity for us to further support and mentor these upcoming designers to realize their potential and achieve their dreams.
“We are committed to developing the design community in the region and supporting emerging designers, and we continue to look at ways we can promote new initiatives and events in order to encourage creativity.
“We must also recognize the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid in foreseeing the importance of nurturing the region’s creative talent. By doing so, we will be enhancing Dubai’s already strong cultural offering, and helping to promote and attract interest on a global scale.”
Stuart McCullough, Managing Director at The Woolmark Company (TWC) said: “It is an honour to be undertaking the first International Woolmark Prize event in the UAE. This would not have been possible without the huge amount of support and advice provided by Dubai Design and Fashion Council to initiate this exciting event.”
“We look forward to working together to highlight the wonderful talents in this region and putting them alongside the best from around the world at the finals to be held in 2016 in New York (womenswear) and Florence (menswear).”