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MILAN — Following a fashion show here, Indian designer Rahul Mishra was named winner of the 2014 International Woolmark Prize.
Mishra, who was the finalist for India and the Middle East, gets a prize of 100,000 Australian dollars, or $92,210 at current exchange.
This story first appeared in the February 24, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In addition, the capsule collection he designed for the competition will be sold in high-end stores globally, from Harvey Nichols and Saks Fifth Avenue to 10 Corso Como, Joyce and David Jones.
The other four finalists, selected through a global search, were ffiXXed for Asia, Christopher Esber for Australia, Sibling for Europe and Joseph Altuzarra for the U.S.
The winner was named at the city’s Triennale Design Museum on Friday. Finalists presented their collections in merino wool exclusively for the competition.
Delhi-based Mishra presented a capsule collection of feminine pieces enriched by precious embroideries handmade in India.
“I studied in Milan at the Istituto Marangoni. So coming back here, meeting this jury and winning this award…it’s kind of a Cinderella story,” said the designer, visibly moved. Mishra also underlined that his goal is “to create a system” involving people who never had access to fashion schools in the creation of his collections.
The international jury included Alexa Chung, Angelica Cheung, Colette Garnsey, Franca Sozzani, Frida Giannini and Tim Banks.
“We all agreed on the winner,” Giannini said. “We were impressed by his incredible knowledge of the art of embroidery, by the coherence of his collection and also by his great passion.”
“In this case, this prize doesn’t award only Rahul’s work, but also him as a person,” said The Woolmark Co.’s global strategy adviser Fabrizio Servente. “We really need people working with this passion in this business.”
Altuzarra, one of the favorites for the award, didn’t show any disappointment. “It was really great to be part of this project, we learned a lot,” said the designer, who said he will spend one more day in Milan. “Finally, just relaxing.”