Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler of Rochambeau with Gabriela Hearst at International Woolmark U.S. finalists' announcement.

The Woolmark Co. has revealed the nine judges tasked with determining the U.S. designers who will compete for the International Woolmark Prize in the women’s wear and men’s wear categories.

This year’s USA regional final will take place July 18 at NeueHouse Madison Square in New York.

The judges are André Leon Talley, fashion author, editor and consultant; Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America; Kate Lanphear, brand strategist and consultant; Laura Brown, editor in chief of InStyle; Stefano Tonchi, editor in chief of W magazine; Julie Gilhart, fashion consultant and International Woolmark Prize mentor; Malcolm Carfrae, founder, Carfrae Consulting and International Woolmark Prize mentor; Nick Sullivan, fashion director, Esquire, and Michelle A. Lee, head of Americas, The Woolmark Co.

“This year we have a total of 64 designers taking part in the International Woolmark Prize, spreading across key global and merging markets. The recent restructure of the program places a greater focus on the design talent and our partners. The increase in prize money combined with the addition of the Innovation Award for the global final ensures the award — and its participants — remain at the forefront of design and innovation,” said Stuart McCullough, managing director, The Woolmark Co.

“Our acclaimed judging panelists and mentors will no doubt provide expert advice to each of the nominees which is invaluable at this stage of their careers. The continued support from industry heavyweights, governing bodies and the world’s most influential retailers cements the importance of the International Woolmark Prize on the world stage,” he added.

This year’s U.S. finalists for women’s wear are Andrea Jiapei Li, Claudia Li, PH5, Protagonist and Zaid Affas. The U.S. men’s wear finalists are Death to Tennis, Dyne, Kenneth Ning, N-p-Elliott and Palmiers Du Mal.

The six regional awards will take place in Seoul (Asia), Sydney (Australia and New Zealand); London (British Isles); Milan (Europe); Dubai (India, Pakistan and Middle East), and New York (USA) throughout July and August. One menswear and one womenswear finalist will be selected from each region, receiving $53,263.09 financial contribution towards their next collection, as well as a chance to participate in the international finals hosted in January 2018.

The winners of the women’s wear and men’s wear global finals will receive an additional $152,192.39 to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection and mentoring from industry experts. The prize money is converted at the current exchange rate. International winners will have the opportunity to have their collection distributed at such retailers as Boon the Shop in South Korea; Boutique 1 of the UAE; David Jones in Australia; De Bijenkorf, Amsterdam; Harvey Nichols in the U.K.; Hudson’s Bay Co. of Toronto; Leclaireur, Paris;; Ordre;, and The Papilion in Indonesia.

The Woolmark Co is supported by Mac, Cutler and for this year’s regional events. Jonathan Zawada created the trophies and decorative wares for each regional event.

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