The Woolmark Company announced its U.S. Woolmark Prize winners on Tuesday evening, with up-and-coming designer (and recent CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist) Christopher Bevans of Dyne awarded menswear prize. "What I loved was the humble way [Christopher] spoke about the fabric with reverence — that was something that really got my attention," said brand consultant, strategist and U.S. Woolmark Prize judge Kate Lanphear in an official statement. "His pieces were so extremely innovative, yet he still spoke so humbly about them and about wool, it seemed holy, and I really liked that exchange."
Zaid Affas was awarded for womenswear, and both designers represent the West Coast's fashion talent. (Bevans is based in Portland, while British-born Affas hails from Los Angeles.) "I'm extra excited to see both brands coming from the west coast," says CFDA CEO and U.S. Woolmark Prize judge Steven Kolb in an official statement. "The support and opportunity The Woolmark Company provides young talent is significant and is providing real business advancement for the designers."
Bevans and Affas will each take home AU$70,000 (about $56,000) and spend the next six or seven months creating a six-piece capsule collection from Merino wool to showcase at the International Woolmark Prize finals alongside competing regional designers from around the world. This year, a few changes are ahead for the International Woolmark Prize: prize money has increased to AU$200,000 (about $159,000) and a third winner will take home the new Innovation Award, which celebrates the most unique and creative yarn or fabric development. We wish our designers luck!