Ireland’s Richard Malone was today announced the winner of the 2020 International Woolmark Prize at an event during London Fashion Week.
Bode is also celebrating after winning the inaugural Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation.
Held at London Fashion Week, this year’s final was judged by industry stalwarts Tim Blanks, Hamish Bowles, Sinead Burke, Edward Enninful OBE, Kim Jones, Takashi Murakami, Holli Rogers, Anja Rubik and Shaway Yeh.
For the first time, this year’s competition focused on supply train traceability, with each of the 10 finalists producing six fully traceable merino wool garments.
The designers worked with sustainable sourcing platform Common Objective and supply chain technology company Provenance, which enabled them to gather and store information about their supply chain through blockchain technology.
Consumers will be able to check the product journey by scanning garment tags.
Malone created a collection inspired by his upbringing in Wexford.
The Irish designer worked with a society of incredibly skilled weavers in Tamil Nadu, India, using completely organic and plant-based dyes as well as more recent innovations using Merino wool and other conscious fibres.
"Winning the Woolmark Prize is completely unexpected," he said.
“It means we can continue working with this supply chain and share our learning with other brands and designers.
"It also opens up the dialogue of fashion so more people can be part of it.
"Thank you to Australia’s woolgrowers for growing this incredible fibre."
Emily Adams Bode was crowned the first winner of The Karl Lagerfeld Award.
The award was presented to Bode by Carine Roitfeld, the founder of CR Fashion Book.
Bode was introduced to new merino wool suppliers that she will continue to work with, while Malone’s work with Woolmark has moved him further towards his goal of 100 per cent circularity.