Considering that the International Woolmark Prize's list of former winners includes names like Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, you could say that it really is an honor just to be nominated. On Wednesday, the organization announced the competitors for its U.S. regional award — one of six localized prizes for up-and-coming talent that it gives out in addition to its global award.
On the women's side, the nominees are Chris Gelinas, Kaelen, Nellie Partow, Novis and Tanya Taylor. The competitors for the menswear prize, which Public School won last July in the award's inaugural year, are Cadet, David Hart, Lucio Castro, Siki Im and Thaddeus O'Neil.
What's in it for the winners? Aside from a lot of industry cred, they'll receive $40,100 to put toward their next collection and will move on to compete in the International Woolmark Prize. (Reward for that: $80,2000.) Last time around, Public School won the international menswear pool and M. Patmos nabbed the prize for womenswear, so we're cautiously optimistic about the U.S.'s odds.
The U.S. Woolmark Prize will hold its award ceremony on July 21, during which the designers will have sketches and one fully-produced outfit judged by industry big shots. Though the judges haven't been named yet, folks like the CFDA's Steven Kolb, Vanessa Friedman of the New York Times (then, the Financial Times) and Alexander Wang have come on board in the past. Tough crowd — but it's worth it.