Announced as one of seven finalists last year, London-based designer Saul Nash has emerged as this year’s top talent, winning the 2022 International Woolmark Prize.
Heralded as one of the fashion industry’s most prestigious awards, the IWP was founded in 1936 and gained traction in the ‘50s. For the 2021/2022 selection process, Nash found himself competing against industry ingenues including France’s EGONLab. and New York’s Peter Do while creating his award-winning movement-based sportswear capsule collection. Fellow finalist MMUSOMAXWELL – a South African design duo – joins Nash in this year’s winning circle, walking away with the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation.
While accepting his award on stage, Nash exclaimed: “This has changed the trajectory of my life.” Earlier this year, his “RITUAL” collection for Fall/Winter 2022 explored Black spirituality, folklore, and Afro-Caribbean life experiences which summarized the landscape of today’s menswear. The collection was interpreted on film by a male dancer performing slight contemporary ballet movements amidst a barbershop full of young men countering his lithe maneuvers with subtle hip-hop dance evocations.
As the winner of this year’s IWP, Nash takes home $144,000 USD in prize money to support his rising brand, and also joins the ranks of historic finalists and previous winners including Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino Garavani, Christopher Bevans of DYNE, Gabriela Hearst, Joseph Altuzarra, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, Giorgio Armani and Dion Lee. In 2021, fellow UK fashion designer Matty Bovan was a double-winner, taking home the top prize along with the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation.
Further information on the IWP, its history, and selection criteria, can be found on the organization’s website.
In other news, London shoe company DUKE + DEXTER heats up the footwear market with its new SS22 collection.
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