So, who is in the running so far? The shortlist features designers from all around the world, including London streetwear label A-COLD-WALL*, South Korean design duo Blindness, luxury menswear brand Bode and self-described ‘Caribbean couture’ label Botter. Also in the running are Chinese born, UK-based menswear designer Feng Cheng Wang, Berlin’s GmbH, ex-Balmain designer Ludovic De Saint Sernin and Matthew Adams Dolan – founder of his eponymous American brand worn by the likes of Rihanna. Last but by no means least are Namacheko, a Kudish-born Swedish-raised creative duo and Ireland’s Richard Malone; the sustainability-focused designer who became one of the youngest artists in history to be added to the MOMA’s permanent collection.
These 10 designers are now on the path towards the final, with support from The Woolmark Company’s Innovation Academy; a fast-track mentoring and education program helping brands implement best practices to address environmental and social issues along with sustainable business growth. “I’m very grateful to be accepted into the International Woolmark Prize alongside such a diverse and exciting group of designers,” explains Feng Cheng Wang. “It’s such an exciting award, and probably the only one that is genuinely concerned with research and development, which in turn protects our industry and our planet.”