Zaid Affas and Christopher Bevans of Dyne took home the U.S. regional awards for women’s wear and men’s wear, respectively, for the International Woolmark Prize Tuesday night.
The USA regional final took place at the NeueHouse Madison Square in New York.
This year’s U.S. finalists for women’s wear also included Andrea Jiapei Li; Claudia Li; PH5’s Wei Lin and Mijia Zhang, and Protagonist’s Georgia Lazzaro. The U.S. men’s wear finalists also included Death to Tennis’ William Watson and Vincent Oshin; Kenneth Ning, N-p-Elliott’s Nicholas Elliott, and Palmiers du Mal’s Shane Fonner and Brandon Capps.
The two U.S. winners will go on to compete against the winners from five other regions: Asia; Australia and New Zealand; British Isles; Europe, and India, Pakistan and the Middle East in the international finals in January.
The men’s wear and one women’s wear regional finalists of each regional receive a financial contribution of 70,000 Australian dollars towards their next collection.
Ultimately, the two winners of the women’s wear and men’s wear global finals will receive an additional 200,000 Australian dollars to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection and mentoring from industry experts. The two international winners will have the opportunity to have their collection distributed at such retailers as Boon the Shop in South Korea; Boutique 1 in the UAE; David Jones in Australia; De Bijenkorf, Amsterdam; Harvey Nichols in the U.K.; Hudson’s Bay Co. of Toronto; Leclaireur, Paris; Mytheresa.com; Ordre; Ssense.com, and The Papilion in Indonesia.
In addition, a new “Innovation Award” has been introduced, to acknowledge the most unique and creative fabric or yarn development from a finalist. The winner of the Innovation Award will be granted 100,000 Australian dollars.
Last year’s U.S. regional winners were Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler of Rochambeau (men’s wear) and Gabriela Hearst (women’s wear). Hearst went on to win the International Woolmark Prize in the women’s wear category, and Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell of Cottweiler, from the British Isles, won the International Woolmark Prize for men’s wear.
The judges for the U.S. regional final were 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.
The Woolmark Co is supported by MAC, Cutler and Ordre.com for this year’s regional events. Jonathan Zawada created the trophies and decorative wares for each regional event.