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SYDNEY — Designers Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci, the duo behind the brand Strateas.Carlucci, won the Australian finals for the International Woolmark Prize in the men’s and women’s categories.
The pair beat seven other entrants in the categories. Men’s was introduced to the competition this year. They won a combined 100,000 Australian dollars, or $93,800 at current exchange.
Strateas.Carlucci’s winning tailored looks included two coats made from a resin-coated, water-repellent hybrid wool jacquard that was inspired by the late indigenous Australian artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye and developed by the duo with Japan’s Nikke textile mill.
While some audience members on Wednesday expressed surprise that one brand had won both categories, competition judge Roland Mouret said the panel’s decision was unanimous.
“It’s not just for the creativity, because they’re all creative, it was about understanding how to try to be here in five years,” said Mouret, who is also in town to unveil his capsule merino wool collection at Myer department store. “We saw amazing concepts, but some of them were so emotional about it. We can’t send you to the next step. You’re not ready. These boys [Strateas and Carlucci] are also really amazing tailors. I know that this money will be used at the right level because they will use it to feed the roots of their company and not just to try to grow without knowing where they go.”
It’s the second win in four months for the Melbourne-based duo, who also won the Tiffany & Co. National Designer Award at the Melbourne Fashion Festival in March, taking home a 100,000 Australian dollar, or $93,800, prize package.
Since launching their premium label in 2012 — after discontinuing an earlier streetwear brand called Trimapee — Strateas and Carlucci have established a following for their dark, androgynous “constructed” tailoring, which now sells to 25 international stockists, including Russian luxury department store chain Podium.
The new designers’ prize money will go toward the production of two superfine merino wool collections that will be presented at the International Woolmark finals next year. The men’s final will take place in London in January and the women’s in Beijing in March.
Earlier this week, Woolmark tapped Public School and M. Patmos as the winners of the U.S. competition. The Emperor 1688 and Bird on a Wire won the India and Middle East finals. Asger Juel Larsen and Augustin Teboul took home the European titles. The Asia finals take place in Tokyo on Thursday.