Last week saw the hugely anticipated International Woolmark Prize (IWP) award held at the bi-annual London Collections: Men in London. After a worldwide search, which saw 21 countries and over 60 designers compete for the award, five labels made it to the finals which were held on the 9th January. These included: AsgerJuelLauresen from Denmark, The Emperor 1688 from UAE, Public School from America, Japan’s SISE and STRATEAS.CARLUCCI from Australia.
In the end a judging panel, which included Tim Banks, editor-at-large for style.com, British fashion legend Paul Smith and other representatives from IWP’s retail partners, selected New York label Public School as the winner of the award.
Paul Smith, member of the judging panel, stated: “What was savvy about Public School was their skill with manufacturing and commerciality. Many items were fully fashioned, so for sportswear they could fit the shape of the body and could work for some of the major sportswear brands. They’ve already invested in production; the USA has a great focus on forward thinking beyond just designing it.”
A representative from Public School added: “It feels unbelievable to win the prize. We are the first US winners in the competition so we are really proud and it’s incredibly meaningful to us.”
Winning the award will mean worldwide recognition for Public School and a financial contribution of $100,000. In addition to thisPublic School’s collection will be stocked and available to buy from August 15 in a selection of important global retailers including Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue, 10 Corso Como, JOYCE, Isetan, David Jones and matchesfashion.com.
Written by Orla Wallis.