2020’s International Woolmark Prize nominees included a diverse group of finalists, from London’s A-COLD-WALL* to Korea’s BLINDNESS, showcasing a rich variety of global menswear and womenswear talents. The winners of the prize were announced on the final day of London Fashion Week, confirming Ireland’s Richard Malone and New York’s Bode as the winners of the prize and the Karl Lagerfeld award, respectively.
Judged by experts that included Tim Blanks, Edward Enninful, Kim Jones and Takashi Murakami, the winners were selected as a result of many factors, ranging from conscious craft to ethical construction to progressive designs. As part of the competition, each finalist broke down their collection’s traceable sustainability.
Judges were impressed with Malone’s resourcefulness in elimination dying chemicals from his supply chain and his partnership with skilled weavers in Tamil Nadu, India, which yielded stunning knit textiles. The strength of Malone’s collection also impressed the panel, garnering the Irish designer approximately $130,000 USD in prize money, which the designer will use to continue developing his sustainable supply chain.
“We focus on many sustainable practices — from working with a hand-weaving community in southern India, which encourages and funds education and training, as well as using plant-based dyes and organic matters,” Malone told HYPEBEAST. “Each jacquard fabric can be traced back to the weaver, and in turn how it was spun, dyed and woven.”
Bode will receive approximately $65,000 USD in prize money as the recipient of the inaugural Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, with experts like Carine Roitfeld citing designer Emily Adams Bode’s “outstanding creativity and innovation” as the reason for her win. “I’m really excited that this is the first Karl Lagerfeld Innovation Award,” said Bode. “He’s been such an idol and inspiration for me. I’m also really excited to build on all the relationships I have made during my Woolmark Prize journey.”
This is Bode’s second recent big award, having received the runner-up prize from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2018. Bode was also nominated for 2019’s LVMH Prize, which recently announced its own finalists for 2020.