The British designer Matty Bovan has taken home the prestigious International Woolmark Prize for 2021, as part of a digital awards ceremony that took place in London this afternoon. Bovan, a Central Saint Martins graduate known for his avant-garde silhouettes and kaleidoscopic colour palettes, beat out a formidable line-up of emerging names for the title, including Bethany Williams, Kenneth Ize, Thebe Magugu, Le Cavalier, and Casablanca. He also took home the newly-introduced Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, making his victory a clean sweep.
“It’s a huge honour to win these prizes and I’m so excited for where it’s going to take me–I was already so thrilled with the Woolmark Prize platform and experience,” Bovan said .“Being a part of the International Woolmark Prize has really helped elevate my brand and elevate my awareness and knowledge of how I operate as a business and as a label. It’s been amazing and I have loved every minute of it.”
The International Woolmark Prize was first established in 1953, with winners including Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, and Gabriela Hearst. The prize aims to celebrate emerging fashion talent from around the globe while promoting Australian wool, with each finalist charged with crafting a collection out of Merino.
Each year the IWP enlists an esteemed pool of judges, this year lead by the storied editor Carine Roitfeld, as well as Thom Browne, Ib Kamara, Shaway Yeh, Sinéad Burke,Tasha Liu, Thom Browne, Tim Blanks and Julie Davies. “What impressed me about Matty is his capacity to win both awards–for his innovation and creativity and I really think he deserves it,” said Roitfeld. “He is pure fashion, he makes me dream and he reminds me of a young Vivienne Westwood or a John Galliano and we desperately need that sort of designer in the fashion world of today.”