International Woolmark Prize global finalists now have even greater exposure to the world’s best buyers and retailers, thanks to a new partnership formed with luxury online showroom ORDRE.
Just as the International Woolmark Prize eliminates cultural and geographical borders, ORDRE is revolutionising the way luxury fashion is bought, removing the need to be in a particular place at a particular time and using the power of the internet to fuel the way the business operates.
Created by The Lock Group in response to changing needs of the global fashion industry, ORDRE aims to disrupt the traditional methods of the business of fashion buying, determining online showrooms were going to be part of the future.
“To be relevant in the world of fashion these days you need to operate from a global perspective in every aspect of your business,” explains ORDRE Fashion Director Kirsten Lock, who co-founded the business alongside her husband Simon. “Retailers don’t really care about the origin of a designer, their race or culture, they are interested in a unique point of difference and hype surrounding a new label.
“ORDRE means geographic barriers don’t matter anymore. A retailer in Japan can now view a designer in Copenhagen, and a designer based in New York can now be seen by retailers in South America. As social media has created a global community of friends for all of us, ORDRE is now taking many of the traditional barriers away for designers to enter and be recognised in new markets, just like the International Woolmark Prize.”
According to Lock, ORDRE is the only online platform that has developed comprehensive online showrooms for ready-to-wear fashion designers. While digital line sheets are not new, online showrooms that provide the ability for buyers to buy collections without physically having to attend a fashion show or a showroom is a huge innovation in the industry.
In this exciting new partnership, ORDRE is giving each International Woolmark Prize global finalist the opportunity to be showcased in the International Woolmark Prize Showroom, with the two global winners granted their own individual space. In addition, ORDRE will provide each finalist with assistance to negotiate retailer enquiries, allowing the world’s best emerging design talents greater access to new stockists and markets along with the chance to communicate directly with them. With a retail network of more than 2500 individual retail organisations in 93 countries, Lock says the portfolio of designers has been carefully curated to ensure a balance between established design houses and emerging talent - the latter expected to triple within the next 24 months.
“Emerging designers’ first impression needs to be something that is not immediately recognisable. A shape, a colour and texture or a fibre that hasn’t been seen before - something that is new and exciting. It may be the smallest detail, a radical new silhouette or in the case of wool, a new way of working with a traditional fibre. The International Woolmark Prize has an enormous reach globally in discovering new talent and our hope is that ORDRE will help bring a spotlight to that talent.”
The uniforms of traditional Dutch fisherman are made modern with Jonathan Christopher’s fabric development for the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize