The Arab Fashion Council has been appointed as an official nominating body of the International Woolmark Prize, and 1422, the world’s first Ready Couture Concept Store, as an official retail partner

The AFC will be nominating designers from the GCC/MENA region to participate in the iconic International Woolmark Prize – the world’s oldest and most prestigious award for rising fashion stars.

1422 is committed to supporting the winning designers of the International Woolmark Prize and will work alongside finalists to provide commercial opportunities for their collections in Dubai.

The AFC’s role as a nominating body is to put forward and encourage emerging designers who meet the criteria to apply for the prize, ensuring the International Woolmark Prize remains both culturally and geographically diverse.

“We are honored to announce the Arab Fashion Council’s appointment as an official nominating body of the prestigious International Woolmark Prize, aiming to provide the distinguished talented designers from the MENA region the possibility to be nominated for the International Woolmark Prize and entice them to expand their creative savoir-faire by selecting natural fibers such as Merino wool” says Jacob Adrian, Founder and Chief Executive of The Arab Fashion Council

The International Woolmark Prize celebrates outstanding fashion talents from around the globe who showcase the beauty and versatility of Australian Merino wool. It is the world’s most prestigious award for rising fashion stars.

The application process entails emerging labels submitting their work outlining if and how they have worked with natural fibers, with a focus on wool. All applications are reviewed by the expert Advisory Council, who ultimately chooses the 10 finalists.

“The International Woolmark Prize nominating bodies remain welcome to nominate the best emerging design talent within their region,” explains The Woolmark Company Managing Director Stuart McCullough. “Yet by opening up the nomination process directly to labels which meet the criteria, we continue to expand the reach of the International Woolmark Prize and uncover the next big names of the fashion industry.”

Past collections can be ready-to-wear or couture. Each year, International Woolmark prize finalists are judged by a prestigious panel of industry experts and taste-makers such as Edward Enninful OBE, Kim Jones and Anja Rubik, to decide the ultimate winner.

There are two prizes awarded at the International Woolmark Prize finale:

1. The International Woolmark Prize Award, which is awarded to a designer who showcases the beauty and versatility of Merino wool. They are awarded $200,000 AUD and are supported by The Woolmark Company and its retail partner network in the commercialization of their collection.

2. TheKarlLagerfeldAwardforInnovation,whichisawardedtoadesignerwho showcases outstanding creativity and innovation.

This designer is awarded $100,000 AUD and is also supported throughout the commercialization process. Finalists who are selected to compete will produce a 6-look Merino wool capsule collection.

“In line with our vision to support the talented designers into expanding their business, we are committed to feature the winning designers collection at 1422 Concept Store and introduce it in the continuously growing Arab market ” says Mohammed Aqra, Chief Strategy Officer of The Arab Fashion Council and Buyer at 1422 Concept Store.