Christopher Esber announced as Australian finalist for 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize

18 July 2013

Sydney, 18th July 2013 – Christopher Esber was announced today as the winner of the Australian regional 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize, at an awards event held at the picturesque Sydney Theatre Company in Walsh Bay.


Christopher Esber’s winning design modelled at the Australian regional final of the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize
Christopher Esber’s winning design modelled at the Australian regional final of the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize.

A judging panel comprising Sophie Clark, General Manager Womenswear David Jones; Kellie Hush, Editor-in-Chief Harper’s BAZAAR; Simon Lock, CEO The Lock Group; Edwina McCann, Editor-in-Chief Vogue Australia; Scott Schuman, founder of The Sartorialist, selected the winner.

Scott Schuman talked of the nominees’ submissions: “The nominees did an amazing job of using old-school techniques of tailoring and knitting, and marrying them with new technologies pointing a new direction for wool, that wool can be a fabric that is not just something that we have lived in all our lives but something that is going to be very important in the future.”

Christopher Esber was awarded for utilising innovative wool product developments in the form of deconstructed suiting.

"It is such an honour to win the Woolmark prize as it is the highest recognition my brand has received to date.

"Thank you to Australian Wool Innovation and Woolmark for my nomination and inclusion in this prestigious international award. I am so excited to represent Australia in Milan in February 2014,” explained Christopher Esber.

Chosen from amongst the eight most promising talents in Australian design, the winner gains a financial contribution of $50,000 AUD, plus the opportunity to compete in the prestigious international final, representing Australia, taking place in Milan in February 2014.

Judges Simon Lock, Kellie Hush, Edwina McCann, Sophie Clark and Scott Schuman.

For the next six months, the winning designer will be required to develop a capsule collection in Merino wool, to be showcased during an extraordinary event which will highlight the five finalists which will be selected from across the globe.

These designers will compete for the much sought-after final Woolmark International Prize, the winner being awarded  an additional $100,000 AUD and the opportunity to be stocked in the most important retailers of the world including Harvey Nichols – London, Saks Fifth Avenue – NY, 10 Corso Como – Milan, Joyce – China, David Jones – Sydney and My Theresa – Germany and online.

Rob Langtry, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, The Woolmark Company explained, “We congratulate Christopher Esber on winning the Australian regional prize.

Christopher Esber with his winning design.

"With the exciting expansion of the prize across Asia and the Middle East, the International Woolmark Prize is a truly global celebration of emerging talent and an increasingly important opportunity to see commercial success on a global scale each year. We look forward to supporting Christopher and his journey toward the final event in Milan in February 2014.”

The Woolmark Company would like to recognise the valuable contribution from the following partners:

  • IMG Fashion Australia as the official nominating body
  • David Jones Australian retail partner
  • MAC cosmetics for providing make up for the awards event
  • Gallo Hair for providing hair styling of the models at the awards event

For further information, interview or images please contact:

Melissa Grace 
Marketing Communications Manager
t. +61 (0) 2 8295 3127    

Annelinde Rossman
Media Communications
t. +61 (0) 2 8295 5604 

#Woolmarkprize / @thewoolmarkcompany
About The Woolmark Company:

The Woolmark is the world’s best known textile fibre brand, established in 1964.

The Woolmark brand is owned by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), a not-for-profit company owned by over 25,000 woolgrowers. AWI’s vision is to be a significant contributor to a vibrant, stable and profitable wool industry providing the world with the best natural fibre. The company works throughout the global supply chain – from woolgrowers through to retailers.

The company mission is to enhance the profitability, international competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian wool industry; and increase demand and market access for Australian wool.

Merino wool provides stability, resilience, softness and luxury to the tailoring industry. The fibre has long been a favourite of designers, but younger consumers, born in an era of ‘disposable’ fashion know too little about the natural benefits.

Wool is a 100 per cent natural and renewable fibre. Sheep live on grass, water, fresh air and sunshine. Wool is a fibre that is grown – not man-made. Every year sheep produce a new fleece, making wool a renewable fibre source.

About the International Woolmark Prize:

The International Woolmark Prize crosses borders and cultures by seeking outstanding and emerging talent from around the world, aligning the support of emerging designers with the evolution of emerging countries.

It is an award for the next generation, shifting the focus from glamour to true talent as a way to highlight wool’s eco credentials. It is Woolmark’s social commitment, a sharing of resources to support local artisans.

In keeping with a long tradition of supporting individual excellence in design, the International Woolmark Prize aims to highlight the beauty of the Merino wool fibre at the hands of the world’s finest designers.

The award is supported internationally by key fashion councils including the Council of Fashion Designers America, British Fashion Council, Chambre Syndicale De La Couture, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid and Premsela Foundation.

The regional judging panels have included esteemed industry representatives such as Alexandra Shulman - Editor-in-Chief Vogue UK, Tim Blanks - Editor at Large, Alber Elbaz - Artistic Director Lanvin, Angelica Cheung - Vogue China editor-in-chief and designers included Narciso Rodriguez, Richard Nicoll and Giles Deacon.