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Woolmark named the winners of the European regional awards for its International Woolmark Prize, which recognizes young design talent, at Paris’ Shangri-La Hotel on Tuesday.
From the 10 nominees each in the women’s and men’s wear categories, Germany’s Augustin Teboul and Denmark’s Asger Juel Larsen took the respective prizes.
Juel Larsen, who made his Copenhagen runway debut last August, presented a layered look intended to resemble a “human sheep.”
“It was a unanimous decision. We were all in agreement about the choice,” said Hermès men’s designer Véronique Nichanian, who sat on the men’s wear jury.
“Winning the prize of 50,000 Australian dollars [about $44,000 at current exchange] will be really good to secure production and liquidity, all the things you need to run a company when you are in the beginning phase,” said Juel Larsen.
“It represents a lot for our work and to present it to such high people from the fashion world,” said Odély Teboul, who codesigns Augustin Teboul with Annelie Augustin, on collecting the award.
Augustin Teboul works only in black and shows at Berlin Fashion Week. The label has around 20 retail accounts worldwide.
President of the International Wool Textile Organization Peter Ackroyd said the quality of the designs presented, all based on merino wool, had been “particularly high,” a sentiment mirrored by Nina Ricci designer Peter Copping, who sat on the women’s award jury.
“I thought the winner we chose today really deserved it,” said Copping. “I hope the prize money will help them develop their business further.”
The European segment is one of five regional competitions to be held in the U.S., Asia, Australia, Europe, and India and the Middle East to select 10 women’s and men’s finalists, who each receive 50,000 Australian dollars, or about $44,000 at current exchange, toward their next collection, as well as an invitation to participate in the international final.
It is the first time that individual prizes for men’s wear have been awarded.
The five men’s wear finalists will meet at London Collections: Men in January, and the five women’s wear finalists will be judged in Beijing in March.
The overall winners of the men’s wear and women’s wear finals will each receive an additional 100,000 Australian dollars, or around $88,000, to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection. Both international winners will have their lines carried by key international retail partners.