Lagos Space Programme, governed by Adeju Thompson, took home the highly-coveted 2023 International Woolmark Prize on Monday, earning the designer a cash prize of $200,000 AUD (or $134,000 USD), stocking opportunities at leading retailers and business mentorship.
The Nigerian designer, who was crowned this year’s winner at the Petit Palais in Paris, was chosen from a pool of eight finalists, which included Rhude (U.S.), Maxxij (South Korea), Bluemarble (France), Robyn Lynch (Ireland), Marco Rambaldi (Italy) and Paolina Russo (U.K.). Each designer was asked to design six silhouettes from merino wool as part of their Fall 2023 collection or for a standalone line spotlighting “the innate versatility, innovative nature and eco-credentials of merino wool.”
Their work was judged by an expert panel, which included Alaïa’s creative director Pieter Mulier, Zegna’s artistic director Alessandro Sartori, Marni’s creative director Francesco Risso, footwear designer Salehe Bembury, photographer Tyler Mitchell, and Browns’ chief executive officer Elizabeth von der Goltz.
The International Woolmark Prize is a massive industry honor, previously won by the likes of Saul Nash, Matty Bovan, Rahul Mishra, Gabriela Hearst, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino Garavani, among others.
Meanwhile, the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, a prize bestowed upon a design demonstrating a forward-minded approach to production and design at the event, was presented to Danish knitwear imprint A. Roege Hove. The brand’s designer, Amalie Roege Hove, won $100,000 AUD (or $67,000 USD).
In more fashion news, Valentino will return to Milan Men’s Fashion Week this June.