The Emperor 1688 (UAE) and Bird on a Wire (Lebanon) were today announced as the menswear and womenswear winners, respectively, of the 2014/15 International Woolmark Prize – India & Middle East regional final, at an awards event held at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. A judging panel comprising Imran Amed – Founder and Editor, The Business of Fashion, Anthony Kendal – Global Communications Director, mytheresa.com, Peter Ackroyd – Global Strategic Advisor, The Woolmark Company, Priyanka Khanna – Senior Fashion Features Editor, Vogue India and Rahul Mishra – 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize winner, selected the menswear and womenswear winner for this round.“More than ever, it’s clear that creativity can be found everywhere in the world and this year’s India & Middle East Woolmark Prize recognised designers from Lebanon & the UAE, providing a meaningful global platform for their creativity”, says Imran Amed, founder and editor, The Business of Fashion. “Winning the first Woolmark Prize menswear regional award and the opportunity to show our collection in London at the final is an exciting challenge and dream come true for our brand” explained Haman Golkar from The Emperor 1688, winners of the menswear category.Adding to this was Rayya Morcos, from Bird on a Wire, who said “the prospect of going to Beijing in March for the final is unbelievable. I am so honoured to be a part of this amazing project” Chosen from amongst the 10 most promising talents, both winners gain a financial contribution of AU$50,000, plus the opportunity to represent India & the Middle East and compete in the prestigious international final. The final for menswear will be held during London Collections: Men in January 2015, and the womenswear final will be held in Beijing in March 2015.For the next six to eight months, the winning designers will be required to develop a capsule collection in Merino wool, to be showcased during an extraordinary event which will highlight the five finalists which will be selected from across the globe for both menswear and womenswear. These designers will compete for the coveted International Woolmark Prize, the winner being awarded an additional AU$100,000 and the opportunity to be stocked in the most important retailers of the world including Harvey Nichols – London, Colette – Paris, 10 Corso Como – Milan, mytheresa.com – Germany, Saks Fifth Avenue – NYC, Joyce – China, Isetan Mitsukoshi – Japan and David Jones – Sydney.“We would like to congratulate The Emperor 1688 and Bird on a Wire on becoming the India & Middle East regional finalists who will go on to the menswear final in London and the womenswear final in Beijing respectively,” explained Stuart McCullough, Managing Director of The Woolmark Company. “The International Woolmark Prize is a truly global celebration of emerging talent providing designers with the opportunity for immediate commercial success on a global scale.”
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