agi & sam and teatum jones take home UK's woolmark prize
Today saw the first UK-based Woolmark Prize British Isle ceremony in London, with designers Agi & Sam (menswear) and Teatum Jones (womenswear) taking home the gongs. The prize showcases and supports young designers the world over, providing not only access to the finest wool and materials, but also marketing and PR support to run an ethical and and materially conscious brand. Remember Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent's win in 1954? They didn't look back from then on, and hopefully then same goes for the young designers today. The prize includes a financial contribution plus the opportunity to represent the British Isles 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.
Nominees included Thomas Tait, J JS Lee, Phoebe English, Fyodor Golan and Teatum Jones for womenswear. Menswear nominees were A. Sauvage, Lee Roach and Agi & Sam. Stuart McCullough, Woolmark Company Managing Director, says "Firstly we're delighted to conduct the first British Isles regional final with both mens and womenswear. It's a wonderful way of profiling the fibre and brand in this part of the world. The collections that we saw were all extremely close in terms of standard and we have no doubt that win lose or draw, the participants in today's prize will all be successful in their own right."
London's fave menswear duo, Agi and Sam took home the menswear prize and said "We're so pleased. We've worked with Woolmark for a couple of years and it's a privilege now to win the prize. Wool is such a strong part of the DNA to our brand, and to do this and to be able to push the boundaries of wool (and ourselves) and to make it exciting and wearable is amazing. It makes you more conscious of what you're doing, where everything comes from. We develop fabrics and want to work with ethical wool throughout, so it's a great seal of approval that what we've tried to do has worked. Now we're excited to go crazy and push it as far as we can."
Womenswear winners, Teatum and Jones were merited for their exploration of merino wool and 3D printing. "We've worked with Woolmark for the past four seasons, but this time we went on a really big journey," they said. "We've made hard things out of merino wool, we're working with a 3D engineer and we're trying to make merino wool to create more solid things."