SYDNEY — Dion Lee has been on the fast track since he launched his label in 2008 straight out of design school. Now he has taken Australia’s biggest fashion purse as the regional winner of the International Woolmark Prize.
Announced at a dinner for 100 at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art on Monday night, the 26-year-old Sydney designer has won 50,000 Australian dollars ($51,129 at current exchange) and will head to London Fashion Week in February with four other regional finalists for the grand final, to compete for a further 100,000 Australian dollars ($102,258). The finalists, who so far include Sophie Theallet (U.S.), Christian Wijnants (Europe) and Ban Xiao Xue (China), with an Indian winner to be announced this week, will be judged on their capsule collections made from Australian merino wool. The overall winner’s collection will be sold beginning in August 2013 through Woolmark’s key retail partners, including Harvey Nichols in the U.K., Lane Crawford in China, Bergdorf Goodman in the U.S. and Australia’s David Jones.