Last night, the fash crowd gathered at MILK Studios’ Penthouse for the announcement of the Woolmark Prize USA Regional Award in both menswear and womenswear. After much anticipation, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School and Marcia Patmos of M. Patmos were crowned the regional champions of menswear and womenswear, respectively. Womenswear nominees included Jonathan Simkhai, Misha Nonoo, Rosie Assoulin, and Whit Pozgay of Whit, while menswear was represented by Ovadia & Sons, Antonio Azzulo, Timo Weiland, and Todd Snyder.
During the cocktail hour, the nominees in both categories presented one look apiece from their woolen collections and the judges crowned the winners. On jury duty? Alexander Wang, W EIC Stefano Tonchi, InStyle‘s Ariel Foxman, and newly-minted Ralph Lauren marketing and PR exec Malcolm Carfrae.
A quick recap on the accolades: Woolmark hosts the awards each year to promote use of Australian Merino wool in the international fashion industry, with a series of regional awards that ultimately leads to the international prize. The regional award winners receive prize money to put toward their upcoming collections. The menswear and womenswear winners will also have their collections shown at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Attendees sipped on colorful Aussie cocktails and wine while DJs Chelsea Leyland, Mia Morretti, and Elle Dee set the celebratory atmosphere in good spirits. We caught up with the boys of Public School for some post-win chatter…
Hey, Public School! How are you feeling about winning this award?
Maxwell: To be nominated is even awesome. [The Woolmark Prize] is like the World Cup. You’re being selected to represent the U.S. and go battle overseas and take on the rest of the countries!
How do you guys like to celebrate after your fash shows and other big industry wins?
Maxwell: We tackle down some of our good friends that are DJs or musicians and try to have a really good time. The thing about our parties is, whether there’s two people or 20 people, there’s always going to be great music. That’s what we care about the most.
Got it! Back to knits: What’s the weirdest or craziest thing you’ve ever owned out of wool?
Maxwell: Besides an ugly Christmas sweater you’re supposed to buy?
Public School rep interjects: Come on! We rehearsed this earlier! You know the answer…
Dao-Yi: Actually, it’s what we designed: a hooded onesie that we did completely in wool-cashmere.
What other designers do you wear?
Dao-Yi: Uniqlo. Seriously!
Maxwell: Comme [des Garçons], Margiela…There are a lot of designers that we love and that we’ll go see, from Acne to whatever. We just love great products.
What’s the next step for Public School?
Dao-Yi: Continuing to develop womenswear. Getting to that place that when people think about Public School, they think about men’s and womenswear…
Maxwell: …And growing internationally.