As the home of menswear trade fair Pitti Uomo, Florence is undoubtedly one of sartorial leaders of the world, and so it was fitting that on Wednesday 13th January, the International Woolmark Prize menswear final was held as part of the multi-day event. Hosted by Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design & Marketing at its spectacular Villa Favard, a 19th century mansion in the heart of the city, the event brought together six finalists from around the globe – Munsoo Kwon from Asia, P. Johnson from Australia, Agi & Sam from the British Isles, Jonathan Christopher from Europe, SUKETDHIR from India and Siki Im from the United States – after being selected from regional events of more than 70 designers.
SUKETDHIR took out the top honours in the competition, which was, according to Stuart McCullough, the Managing Director of The Woolmark Company, the closest in the event’s history, and was praised for his ability to marry traditional techniques, such as Ikat, with modern silhouettes. While the New Delhi-based designer will go on to receive AU$100,000 along with the support of the best menswear retail stores, all finalists deserve attention for what was a particularly standout demonstration of the innovation in contemporary menswear today and brilliant use of Merino wool, with techniques such as needle-punching, hand-dyeing and felting just some of the clever approaches showcased. To celebrate the International Woolmark Prize, we take you backstage, front row and behind-the-scenes, transporting you to the magical Florentine scene.
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