Public School Wins First International Woolmark Prize for Menswear

What prize haven't these guys won?
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Dhani Mau
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What prize haven't these guys won?
Maxwell Osborne, model, Dao-Yi Chow. Photo: Darren Gerrish.

Maxwell Osborne, model, Dao-Yi Chow. Photo: Darren Gerrish.

It seems that Public School designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne can't enter a competition without winning it these days. 2013 saw the designers take home the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund top prize; in 2014 they received the CFDA Award for Menswear as well as the inaugural U.S. Woolmark Prize for Menswear. They then went on to compete for the International Woolmark Prize and on Friday morning, they won that too.

The final competition took place in London, where the menswear shows have just kicked off. The winner was decided by a panel of judges including designer Paul Smith, GQ UK editor Dylan Jones, Style.com's Tim Blanks and "free agent" Nick Wooster, to whom Chow and Osborne presented six Merino wool outfits. They beat out Asger Juel Larsen (Denmark), Sise (Japan), Strateas.Carlucci (Australia) and The Emperor 1688 (India/The Middle East). In a statement, Smith praised the Public School designers for their "skill with manufacturing and commerciality."

The designers won $94,000 on top of the $47,000 they received for winning the regional competition back in July. They also have the opportunity to have their Merino collection stocked in such retailers as Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue, 10 Corso Como, JOYCE, Isetan, David Jones and Matches Fashion beginning in August.

In the Woolmark Prize's 50-year history, this was the first year there was both a womenswear and a menswear category. The international winner for womenswear will be announced March 17 in Beijing, where U.S. winner Marcia Patmos of M.Patmos will present her designs for a lineup of panelists, including Victoria Beckham.