Belgian designer Christian Wijnants won the International Woolmark Prize this past weekend, with his innovative take on woolen knitwear. Using a single strand of merino yarn, the designer hand-knit a voluminous dress that was dyed using the Japanese shibori tie-dye method. Franca Sozzani (editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and one of the judges) said, “Christian invented a new shape and made it possible with an industrial production process. His designs are flattering, feminine and sexy, a modern interpretation of wool.”
Woolmark strives to promote the use of wool in the fashion industry, and intends for this prize to encourage young designers to embrace it and to explore creative uses for this classic fiber. Wijants’ winnings included 100,000 Australian dollars, in addition to top retailers carrying his collection worldwide. Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent both famously won Woolmark prizes as young designers, proving that the award is a good indicator of future success.