matthew miller, bodice and dyne win the 2018 international woolmark prize
From London to New Dehli and Portland, the award celebrates the world’s leading design innovators.
Image courtesy Woolmark
After more than 65 designers from over 60 countries were nominated for this year's award, the three winners were announced on the first night of Pitti Immagine in Florence. New York-born, Portland based label Dyne was awarded the inaugural Innovation Prize thanks to his tech-infused snowboarding wardrobe, complete with an NFC chip in the water-resistant wool jacket to track users in avalanches. Stoke-born, London-based i-D favourite Matthew Miller walked away with the Menswear Prize after being praised for the multifunctional elements added to enable his look to shapeshift according to the needs of the environment. Addressing the issue of consumer waste in fashion with traditional techniques of recycling and cultural beliefs in the spiritual power of cloth, New Delhi-based label Bodice was awarded the Womenswear Prize.
“To be recognised in innovation, something we pride ourselves, makes all of those hours spent in the studio experimenting even more special. For us, it’s about sharing knowledge so other designers can embrace innovation and make this world a better place -- it’s crazy right now but if we stick together, we can make a difference. After working at Nike and with Pharrell at BBC, it was time to be the master of my own destiny. With Dyne, we’re looking for solutions. We stand for health, wellness, leaving a positive footprint and we believe in the power of collaborations. We have a small tight squad in Portland cooking up some fabulousness, we’re agile and we can do what we want.” Christopher Bevans, Dyne.
“India is not known for fashion, it’s known for textile, tradition and handicrafts and it’s beautiful, but I’m pleased that we had the opportunity to push them in new directions. I use a lot of Indian textiles and handicraft techniques but I don’t limit them to where they come from -- it’s much more important to me that they’re beautiful, made in a sustainable way. Many are age-old techniques that are undervalued and are sadly disappearing but India is such a treasure trove and I love exploring what it has to offer. The quality is exceptional so why should it only be used for mass production? With this award, we’re able to showcase this exceptional work in stores across the world. It’s a great time to be in New Delhi, the creative scene is beginning to flourish. People are increasingly inspired and a new generation are seeing that they can pursue creative dreams. When I chose to become a fashion designer, while my mother was always supportive, my extended family took a while to accept my decision. That’s changing now.” Ruchika Sachdeva, Bodice
“Winning this award is amazing, it's a dream come true. To be listed alongside the previous winners of this prize, the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, is next level. This award means I’ve been accepted by peers in my industry. What more do you want? That’s a validation that we strive for. We’ve been working with wool for years, so this process was very natural to us. We enjoy taking this traditional menswear fabric and working with modern mills to innovate. Plus it’s a sustainable fabric.” Matthew Miller.