SUKETDHIR and Taller Marmo were today announced as the menswear and womenswear winners, respectively, of the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize India, Pakistan and the Middle East regional final, at an awards event held at the Manzil hotel, Downtown Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
A judging panel comprising Nez Gebreel, CEO, Dubai Design & Fashion Council; Osman Yousefzada, Designer; Bridget Cosgrave, Fashion and Buying Director, Boutique 1; Louise Nichol, Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia; Melissa Grace, The Woolmark Company; Che Kurrien, Editor, GQ India and Alison Tay, Editor-in-Chief, Grazia Middle East, selected Sukhetdhir as the menswear winner and Taller Marmo as the winner for the womenswear category.
Nez Gebreel, CEO of Dubai Design and Fashion Council, commented, ‘As the official supporters of the regional prize, the Dubai Design & Fashion Council team was excited to work alongside the International Woolmark Company, an entity renowned for investing in young emerging talent and opening doors for designers not only in their respective local markets, but also across the globe. More importantly, this is a prize that educates and supports designers throughout the design process in its entirety, aligning with the council’s mandate to nurture emerging talent so they have an opportunity to flourish. I was extremely impressed with the creativity of the finalists and how they incorporated Merino wool into their designs; the designers have created pieces which truly demonstrate the wealth of talent we have in this region.’
SUKETDHIR impressed the judges with unique merino fabric developments and hand woven techniques were presented passionately; representing the region brilliantly, while UAE based Taller Marmo showed a truly exciting collection with a very international perspective.
Menswear category winner Suket Dhir said ‘I am extremely proud to have received this accolade from such a prestigious institution, particularly when taking into account all the amazing designers that have come before me. I am so grateful to The Woolmark Company for creating this wonderful platform to support designers.’
Womenswear winners Yago Goicoechea and Riccardo Audisio behind Taller Marmo said: ‘To be honoured with such an award, from such a distinguished jury, is overwhelming. Now, we are looking towards the international Womenswear final in New York; truly excited to see what lies ahead as a result of this opportunity.’
Chosen from amongst the 11 most promising talents in India, Pakistan and the Middle East fashion design, both winners gain a financial contribution of AED 136,112, plus the opportunity to represent India, Pakistan and the Middle East and compete in the prestigious international final. The final for menswear will be held in Florence in January 2016, and the womenswear final will be held in New York in February 2016.
For the next six to seven months, the winning designers will be required to develop a capsule collection in Merino wool, to be showcased at one of two extraordinary events that will highlight the six menswear finalists and six womenswear finalists selected from across the globe.
The finalists will compete for the coveted International Woolmark Prize, the winners being awarded an additional AED 272,224, and the opportunity to be stocked in the most important retailers of the world, including Harvey Nichols (London), 10 Corso Como (Milan, Beijing and Shanghai), Matchesfashion.com (online), Mytheresa.com (online), Saks Fifth Avenue (NYC), Joyce (China), Boutique 1 (UAE) and David Jones (Australia).
The Woolmark Company Managing Director Stuart McCullough explains: “The International Woolmark Prize is our commitment to educating the next generation of fashion industry leaders about the extraordinary potential of Merino wool, and we congratulate Suket Dhir and Taller Marmo on their win.
“With the number of countries represented the largest yet, the International Woolmark Prize is a truly global celebration of emerging talent and most importantly provides the winning designers with a unique opportunity for commercial success on a global scale.”
Stefan Viard, General Manager, Vida Hotels and Resorts, said: “We are delighted to have hosted the regional final of the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize, which celebrates the newest talent in high-end fashion and design. As one of the first international fashion events to be held in our property, it highlights the unique aesthetics of Vida Hotels and Resorts that appeals to the new generation of global travellers and entrepreneurs. The central location of Manzil Downtown Dubai, its unmatched architecture and elegant features are a perfect fit to this high-calibre design event. We will continue to extend our support to such initiatives that further underline Dubai as a global fashion hub.”