Altuzarra Pulls The Wool Over Our Eyes

by The Daily Front Row

(NEW YORK) Last night at Industria Superstudio in the West Village, Joseph Altuzarra was named the winner of the U.S. section of the 2013-14 International Woolmark Prize, as announced by Michelle Lee of The Woolmark Company. The other nine U.S. finalists chosen by the CFDA to compete included Bibhu Mohapatra, Creatures of the Wind, Daniel Vosovic, Giulietta, Ohne Titel, Timo Weiland, Tucker, Wes Gordon, and WHIT. Each was given the task of creating an original piece made of wool for the chance to be awarded $100,000 and the opportunity to eventually to be stocked by retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, David Jones in Sydney, and Harvey Nichols in London. Also on the docket: the chance to win another cash prize. In the next six months Altuzarra will develop a capsule collection in Merino wool that will be shown during Milan fashion week competing against designers from Australia, Asia, Europe, and India/Middle East. 

Before the winner was announced, Mohapatra told us what an honor it was to be in the same room as the other designers. “Simply put it’s a little bit of my American dream coming true,” he explained. “I’m an immigrant. I don’t take opportunities or being here lightly. It’s a big deal for me.” Gordon also shared his enthusiasm explaining, “It’s a double honor. It’s an honor to be in the Woolmark group of finalists because of their amazing history and alumni, but also to be with this group is such an honor. Everyone did something so beautiful so it’s really exciting to be here.”

The judging panel included Alexander Wang, Colleen Sherin, Malcolm Carfrae, Stefano Tonchi, Steven Kolb, Vanessa Friedman and Lee. The International Woolmark Prize has an impressive history, with unknowns Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent taking home the first award in 1954. Earlier this year, Belgium designer Christian Wijnants took home the award for 2013.

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