Gabriela Hearst and Cottweiler are named the 2016/17 Winners of the International Woolmark Prize
BY OBI ANYANWU
The Woolmark Company has announced Gabriela Hearst and Cottweiler as the winners of the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize in womenswear and menswear. The designers will each receive AU$100,000 to support their businesses, ongoing industry mentor support, Woolmark certification, and the opportunity to have their collections carried at prestigious boutiques and department stores from all over the world.
Gabriela Hearst bested designers Sylvie Millstein of Hellessy, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia of Monse, Nelly Partow and Sally LaPointe to become the US womenswear representative for the International Woolmark Prize. Born in Uruguay, Hearst grew up on her family’s ranch among horses, cattle and sheep. She honors her family’s heritage with her fashion label and believes in the traditional values of quality.
Hearst’s winning collection includes a trench coat, evening dress, baseball jacket, one-piece long johns and cycling trousers that utilize ultrafine Merino wool and micron wool.
From a personal perspective I wish my grandfather and father were here, as a designer it’s a huge honour to be recognised and I cannot wait to promote more Merino wool in the world as I believe it is the yarn of future.
Cottweiler, the menswear winner that represents the British Isles, won the competition with a collection comprised of sheer Merino wool base-layers, quilted waterproof outerwear and wool-blend fabrics on utilitarian pieces. Founded by Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty, Cottweiler produces progressive designs and manufacturing for men and films and installations that have been showcased in London and Munich.
Winning the International Woolmark Prize gives us the opportunity to share what we do with a much bigger, global audience, but for us, the great part of this was the opportunity to work with a different material – Merino wool – because we’re always interested in experimenting with technology and development.
Past International Woolmark Prize winners from the US include Public School and M. Patmos.
Photos | Courtesy of Woolmark