Christian Wijnants wins European spot for Woolmark PrizeMonday, 16 July 2012
Wijnants was up against 17 talented European designers including and he was selected as the winner by a judging panel, which included Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, Vogue Editor Alexandra Schulman, and British fashion designer Giles Deacon.
Alber Elbaz said: “Christian’s work was right for the project; it was about knitwear, construction and technique”.
Commenting on his win, Wijnants added: “I am very pleased and honoured for the respect I have received from the judges. We are human beings and it’s important for us to stay true to the natural fibre and what nature has to offer.”
Wijnants, who launched his own brand in 2003 and has presented his collections during Paris Fashion Week, takes home $50,000 for winning the European final and is now in the running for the top prize, a further 100,000 Australian dollars to assist in underwriting her next fashion show, and the opportunity for his clothes to be stocked in Harvey Nichols, US department store Bergdorf Goodman, Italy's 10 Corso Como and David Jones in Australia.
The Woolmark prize supported by the Australian Wool Industry, was reintroduced this year, and it is hoped that the new award will not only showcase the diversity of wool, but will also follow in the footsteps of its other prestigious fashion awards including the International Wool Secretariat design award of the 1950s, which founded two relatively unknown designers of the time, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.
The finalists that will represent Australia and India will be announced this week, and all five regional winners will take part in a catwalk showcase during London Fashion Week in February 2013 where they will present an entire capsule collection of Australian Merino wool and an international winner will be selected.