London, Jan 10 (IANS) US designer brand Public School, owned by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, was named winner of the 2014/2015 International Woolmark Prize (IWP), at the inaugural men’s award here.
The brand emerged as a winner Friday after impressing a panel including iconic menswear designer Paul Smith, Tim Blanks, Editor-at-Large for Style.com along with representatives from IWP retail partners.
“What was savvy about Public School was their skill with manufacturing and commerciality. They’ve already invested in production. The US has a great focus on forward thinking beyond just designing it,” Smith said in a statement.
The duo’s winning Merino wool collection was based on craftsmanship and showcased the natural characteristics of Merino wool. The designers also aimed to highlight how special the fibre was. They are ecstatic.
“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,” they said in a joint statement.
After a global search, reaching across 21 countries and involving more than 60 designers, five menswear design talents reached the final round: SISE from Japan, Asger Juel Larsen from Denmark, Australia’s STRATEAS.CARLUCCI, The Emperor 1688 from the UAE, and US’ Public School.
The winner will also receive a financial contribution of AU$100,000 ($80800 approximately) and an opportunity to be stocked in the most important retailers around the globe including Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue, 10 Corso Como, JOYCE, Isetan, David Jones and matchesfashion.com.
The collection will be available in partner retailers globally from August 2015.