Congratulations to Nigeria’s Lagos Space Programme for being Among the 8 Finalists for the 2023 International Woolmark Prize.
The eight finalists for the coveted International Woolmark Prize, one of the most illustrious competitions in fashion, have been revealed by Australia’s Woolmark Company. The competition’s menswear and womenswear designers will have the opportunity to win the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, which has a value of AU $100,000 (about £56,000), as well as the ultimate prize of AU $200,000 (about £112,000). In 1954, Lagerfeld took home the top prize.
The Woolmark Company’s managing director, John Roberts, said that the finalists have a passion for pushing the boundaries with merino wool, whilst [also being] focused on improving their brand’s environmental and social impact.” They include the menswear designers Robyn Lynch of Ireland, South Korea’s Maxxij, the French label Bluemarble, Rhuigi Villaseñor of the LA brand Rhude, and Nigeria’s Lagos Space Programme, along with the womenswear labels Paolina Russo from the UK, Marco Rambaldi from Italy, and Denmark’s A. Roege Hove.
Roberts adds that, “this group of designers also aligns with the global trends of casualisation and performance-based apparel – two areas that are well-placed to be enhanced by merino wool.”
To start working on a capsule collection centered on the concept of “Dialogue,” which carries on the tradition of abstract prompts started by the theme of “Play” from the previous year, each finalist will receive an initial grant of AU $60,000 (about £34,000).
Celebrating the milestone on Instagram, Lagos Space Programme’s Adeju Thompson captioned the post: To be chosen as an IWP 2023 finalist is a huge honour. As someone who’s practice has been centered around documenting cultural memories and highlighting their relevance to contemporary culture, I am interested in the ways in which clothing and textiles remain critical parts of African spirituality and creativity and an important means of livelihood. @thewoolmarkcompany as an institution has a storied history and has been a major launching pad for some of the most iconic design voices and to be selected as finalist in 2022 is not only affirming but an incredible opportunity.