Harman Grubiša designers Jessica Grubiša (left) and Madeleine Harman (right). Image supplied.
Harman Grubiša are celebrating a historic milestone tonight in Sydney as they’re the first New Zealand brand to win a category of the prestigious International Woolmark Prize. The designer duo of Madeleine Harman and Jessica Grubiša were competing for the second year at the prestigious competition after being nominated both years by New Zealand Fashion Week’s founder Dame Pieter Stewart.
The talented young designers beat Australian fashion labels Elissa McGowan and Thomas Puttick to claim the coveted prize after impressing the judges with their six-piece capsule collection that included one look in merino wool. They join twelve Woolmark finalists from around the world in receiving a NZ$75,000 financial contribution towards their next collection as well as an invitation to participate in the international finals. The overall winner of the International Woolmark Prize will receive NZ$215,000 as prize money.
“We’ve only been designing together for three and a half years, so to even be nominated for a Woolmark prize is a huge honour, let alone for the second year running, and now to win it” says Grubiša. “Not only will the prize money
help us create a more mature, high quality infrastructure, the award puts us alongside some of the most revered designers in fashion history, which is such a dream for us both.”
Madeleine Harman says “New Zealand fashion is at such an interesting time. We have been thrust into the digital era, where you can be seen and judged very quickly from not only your local peers, but the world’s biggest critics. The growth curve can be very steep, and we have worked extremely hard to put our best foot forward at every opportunity.”
The International Wool Secretariat Prize has a prestigious history and was first launched in 1953. Industry legend Karl Lagerfeld famously won the prize aged just 21 for his coat design. The iconic Yves Saint Laurent was just 18 years old when he won for his dress design in 1954.
Congratulations to Harman Grubiša and best of luck with the international finals.
Harman Grubiša campaign image featuring wool pieces from their Winter 2017 collection. Image by Karen Inderbitzen-Waller and Delphine Avril Planqueel.