London designers Teatum Jones and Agi & Sam were crowned winners of the Woolmark Prize’s British Isles Regional Final, which took place in the capital yesterday. Teatum Jones, run by Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, won the womenswear prize, while Agi & Sam, masterminded by Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton, won the menswear accolade. Both brands received 50,000 Australian dollars and will also get the chance to compete in the International Woolmark Prize final.
“We want to make sure the winners of this award get the opportunity to merchandise their product around the world. We think that’s one of the reasons for the prize’s success,” said Stuart McCullough, managing director of The Woolmark Co. at Friday’s event, as well as adding that the emphasis of the prize wasn’t on “handing out a trophy and a check.” Judging on the panel for the British Isles was a host of fashion industry experts, including designer Roland Mouret, Dylan Jones, editor of British GQ, Sophia Neophitou, editor in chief and publisher of 10 Magazine and Simon Chilvers, men’s style director at Matchesfashion.com. The main focus of the competition was the strength of an outfit that each finalist had to design using Merino wool.
This is the first time that the Woolmark Prize has held a regional British final—previously, British designers had competed in a European regional event. Next up for the British winners will be the international finals—set to be held in New York in February 2016 for womenswear and in Florence in January 2016 for menswear.