Cottweiler and Gabriela Hearst win International Woolmark Prize 2017

Palais de Tokyo


The International Woolmark Prize, whose first edition spotted two young talents, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, still novices, is no longer presented. Since then, this annual competition has always rewarded the most promising emerging talents of their generation. At the heart of this style exercise, merino wool, defended by The Woolmark Company, and worked by the 12 finalists. In front of an audience of professionals present in Paris for the men’s and couture collections, and who came in large numbers to discover the proposals of these emerging talents, the mistress of ceremony Mademoiselle Agnès hosted this evening’s awards ceremony. The 2017 edition was distinguished by the joint presentation of the women and men’s awards, but also by its teasing campaign, signed by director Isaac Lock and photographer Rankin. Entitled Unravelled – the greatest story never told, it was staged by Jefferson Hack, Tim Blanks or Carmen Kass dressed in the finalists’ looks. Already noticed during their collaboration with Reebok at Pitti Uomo last year, the British brand Cottweiler, by Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty, seduced the men’s jury composed among others of Shayne Oliver, Imran Ahmed and Michèle Lamy, through judicious and avant-garde sportswear, mixing military details with tribal and fetish codes from the underground. If Gabriela Hearst’s name is still confidential in Paris, this Uruguayan-born designer happily marries a very New York sophistication – where she now lives with her family, including her husband Austin, descendant of the tycoon William Randolph Hearst – has a romantic spirit and an unadulterated beauty inspired by his native country in this label founded in 2015 and dubbed by the jury of women’s collections including seamstress Bouchra Jarrar, designer Victoria Beckham, Dame Nathalie Massenet, Lou Doillon and Miroslava Duma. In addition to the 100,000 Australian dollars endowment that accompanies their victory, the creators will also benefit from mentoring by experienced professionals as well as commercial opportunities with a very sharp selection of commercial partners including L’Eclaireur.

Photos: Virgile Guinard
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