Public School claims world wool crown

10 Jan, 2015 04:40 AM
British GQ editor Dylan Jones, Paul Smith, Public School designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow and Australian Wool Innovation CEO Stuart McCullough.
British GQ editor Dylan Jones, Paul Smith, Public School designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow and Australian Wool Innovation CEO Stuart McCullough.

HIP New York label, Public School, has claimed the International Woolmark Prize for menswear.

The label, started by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, has been credited in the US for redefining the landscape for menswear.

And wool is helping them do it.

The winners were selected in London overnight from among five regional finalists: Sise from Japan, Asger Juel Larsen from Denmark, Australia’s STRATEAS.CARLUCCI, The Emperor 1688 from the UAE and America’s Public School

Public School's collection for the IWP final was inspired by the idea of a post-apocalyptic world where the only resource was Merino world.

“From there we built out the story about this lost tribe and how they were able to survive through their relationship and co-existence with wool,” the designers said.

The collection was created by both hand and machine knitting using wool sourced from about five spinners in Italy.

As part of the label’s prize, it will be stocked in global fashion stores from August this year including, Harvey Nichols in Britain, Italy’s 10 Corso Como, Saks Fifth Avenue in the US, Joyce in Hong Kong, Isetan Mitsukoshi in Japan and David Jones in Australia.

Public School also wins $A100,000.

We asked the IWP menswear finalists what global runway trends mean for wool. Here's what they said

Editor of British GQ Dylan Jones, who was part of the judging panel, said Public School’s entry was “seriously impressive”.

"The great thing about Public School is the way in which they have mixed the traditional with the contemporary, creating an incredibly vibrant collection,” Jones said.

Iconic menswear designer Paul Smith, who also sat on the panel, praised the label’s skill with manufacturing and the commerciality of the collection.

"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,” Smith said.

“They've already invested in production; the USA has a great focus on forward thinking beyond just designing it."

GALLERY: Click on the image above for more photos from the IWP Menswear Final

Public School says consumers are still to fully realise the versatility of wool.

“When people think of wool they usually think of big chunky sweaters,” the label told FarmOnline in the lead-up to the final.

“The IWP really gives a platform for designers to experiment and push the ideas of what can be done with wool. From there it can start affecting what consumers see in the marketplace.”

The IWP final for womenswear will be held in Beijing in March.

Read more

  • Meet the IWP menswear finalists
  • Public School on their IWP collection
  • Public School’s road to the final
  • Why the IWP has New York's fashion scene talking
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