International Woolmark Prize Teams with Solange Knowles to Celebrate 2021 Finalist

International Woolmark Prize 2021 x Solange Knowles’s Saint Heron Agency Present “Passage” To Celebrate Finalists

International Woolmark Prize 2021 and Solange Knowles’ studio and creative agency Saint Heron, have collaborated to present a short film, “Passage.” The film celebrates the 6 finalists of the award and the act of creation. Created by Solange Knowles and Directed by McArthur Award-winning director Wu Tsang, the film features an ensemble cast including musical legend, Dionne Warwick; actor, Dominique Jackson; rap artist Sah Babii; soul legend, Joi and music producer KeiyaA.

Regarding the project, Knowles said, “In continuing Saint Heron’s world making practice, ‘Passage’ further explores my interest in theatrical production through the translation of identity, spirit, philosophy and creation. Whether it be through album artwork, stage design, or filmmaking, I’ve always sought to create new visual languages that encompass the expressions my other works cannot communicate. I’m inspired to expand these processes through the Saint Heron Agency with a wider scope of collaborations and projects.”

To reflect on and honor the creative process with the 2021 International Woolmark Prize finalists, ‘Passage’ aligns with Saint Heron’s mission to reverence creation as life, from abstraction to being. I’ve been a longtime fan of Wu Tsang’s work and to be able to work alongside her, the Saint Heron team, and all of the incredible artists and designers in the film, really fortifies the ethos of collaboration and communal creative exchange that we wish to continue to embody.

— Solange Knowles, Creative Director of Saint Heron

Performance artist Tosh ‘Boychild’ Basco was enlisted for the film, which is a theatrical voyage showcasing the end product of the finalist’s work. The film puts the viewer in the audience of what seems to be a modern dance performance. The stage is set with plain backdrops, that are then replaced by backdrops of nature. A few of the actors jump out of the stage and then appear in actual nature. The final scene pans the theater, filled with an audience of no one. 

Tsang said, “It’s been incredible working with Solange and the Saint Heron Agency. The collaboration between everyone involved in this project in service of these designers is something so special. Solange has such a strong, unique voice and, along with her poetic approach, used performance as a way to unify and contrast each individual look. Working across theatre and film myself, this felt like the perfect melding of everyone’s visions.”

The winner of the IWP 2021 prize, with the theme, “less is more”, will be announced on June 10th. This year’s competition celebrates slow and responsibly produced fashion and craftsmanship. Each Merino wool garment will tell a story and shine light on the supply chain. 

Since its inception, the prize has awarded and incubated some of the most era-defining fashion designers, from Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent to Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren. It focuses on product innovation and creation, providing the designers with the resources and education to extend their offerings. 

One finalist will be awarded the IWP by a prestigious panel of industry experts and receive over $155,000 to invest in the development of their business. The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation will be presented again this year, with the winner receiving over $75,000. This year will also see the introduction of the Woolmark Supply Chain Award, celebrating outstanding contribution from a trade partner to drive awareness for wool supply chain innovation.

The finalists are Bethany Williams, UK; Casablanca, France; Kenneth Ize, Nigeria; Lecavalier, Canada; Matty Bovan, UK and Thebe Magugu, South Africa.