3 Designers Everyone's Paying Close Attention to Right Now

Who are these designers and why is everyone paying attention to them? These three designers we speak of—Marina Afonina of Albus Lumen, Brandon Maxwell, and Michael and Nicole of Colovos—are finalists in the International Woolmark Prize, a competition dating back earlier than any other designer prize still going on today that focuses on emerging talent and their ability to revolutionize wool in their collections while also promising a commitment to sustainable practices. To let you in on just how major this award is, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren are among some of the first winners. Like I said… major. 

Here's how it works—the International Woolmark Prize selects finalists from over 300 applicants from over 46 different countries. Once selected, each designer is to design a collection that uses unique Australian Merino wool fabrication in both process and development, and the winner receives funds for their submitted collections to be sold and commercialized in some of the industry's largest retailers. This year, the finalists' collections are taking the use of wool to the next level, including everything from wool-comprised water-resistant outerwear to wool denim. 

Today, we have the honor of hearing from three of a handful of this year's 2019 International Woolmark Prize finalists as we interviewed them on what winning this prize would mean to them as an emerging designer, the specifics on how they are revolutionizing wool, and what we can expect to see from their collection on February 16, the official day of the prize.