Madeleine Harman and Jessica Grubiša of Harman Grubiša (left) and Lucilla Gray (right).
New Zealand fashion is truly on an international level and futher recognition of that came today with the announcement that local designers Harman Grubiša and Lucilla Gray are nominees for the International Woolmark Prize. This is the first year that it's been open to New Zealanders since the awards were first launched in 1953. Harman Grubiša and Lucilla Gray will compete in the Sydney regional event on July 6th with the chance to be selected to represent their region at the final awards.
The International Woolmark Prize is one of the most coveted designer awards in fashion and was famously awarded in 1954 to Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in Paris. This year more than 75 designers have been selected from 62 countries to participate in the 2016 award, which showcases the superb qualities of Australian Merino wool. The nominees will all present one look in Merino wool and a six-piece capsule concept to industry experts with twelve finalists each receiving a AU$50,000 financial contribution towards their next collection and an invitation to participate in the international finals.
The winners of the menswear and womenswear finals will receive a further AU$100,000 to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection along with invaluable mentoring from industry experts. In addition, both international winners will have the opportunity to have their collection distributed through prestigious international retail partners including Harvey Nichols in the UK, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York just to name a few.
Huge congratulations to Madeleine Harman, Jessica Grubiša and Lucilla Gray on being selected for such a prestigious competition and best of luck for the event in Sydney.
Georgia Currie, designer of Georgia Alice.
Update: We heard this afternoon that Georgia Currie of Georgia Alice has also been nominated for the International Woolmark Prize. Georgia is a New Zealander who has based her label in Sydney for the past couple of years. We're so thrilled that there are three Kiwis in the running and wish them all well.