LONDON — Edward Crutchley and Colovos have been named the winners of this year’s International Woolmark Prize.
A panel of judges, which included designer Alber Elbaz, InStyle editor in chief Laura Brown and actor Gwendoline Christie, chose the winners from among 12 finalists.
Colovos won in the women’s wear category and Crutchley won for men’s wear as well as the Innovation award. The winners were announced during London Fashion Week.
The competition recognizes design talent that uses Australian Merino wool in beautiful and creative ways. Previous winners include Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent.
“I think for someone who is so focused on textiles, it’s really a validation for me that what I do is of value, and I think that’s something that we all look for in our work,” said Crutchley, who is known for working with artisanal textiles.
For the collection that he presented to the panel, Crutchley said he wanted to set himself a challenge by creating pieces using 100 percent merino wool. “No blends, no mixes and to achieve as many different levels of texture, weights, and drapes as I could,” he said.
Looks ranged from devorée pieces and intricate jacquards to tie-dyes.
Crutchley and Nicole and Michael Colovos of Colovos are awarded 200,000 Australian dollars, Crutchley will be awarded an additional 100,000 Australian dollars for winning the Innovation Award, and their winning collections will be sold globally at high-end department stores including Harvey Nichols, Lane Crawford, Hudson’s Bay and online at MyTheresa.com.
“It’s been a great experience and taking part in this award and the accessibility and connections they’ve granted us have been wonderful in terms of mentors and the people we’ve met,” Nicole Colovos said.
The duo wanted the collection to reflect wool’s natural properties. They used non-toxic dyes and worked solely with mills under the Greenpeace detox program.
With the new techniques they’ve picked up, the designers are eager to continue with this thread, “we’ve been exposed to new techniques and that will definitely remain in our brand,” she said.