US brand Public School has scooped the inaugural International Woolmark prize for menswear, presented at an event today during London Collections: Men.
The brand was founded in 2008 by designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne is stocked in department stores and speciality boutiques including Barney’s New York, Isetan, Odin, MaxField and Louis Boston.
The winning collection focused on the label’s signature sleek approach to streetwear, with hooded knit jumpers and drop crotch jogging pants in a monochrome palette of black and grey.
Announcing the winner, managing director of the Woolmark Company Stuart McCullough said it had been a close-run contest, which led to a “vigorous discussion” among the judges - joking that the final decision almost came down to an arm wrestle.
The menswear panel of judges included designer Paul Smith, editor of GQ Dylan Jones, group fashion buying director at Harvey Nichols Anita Barr, editor at large of Style.com Tim Blanks and designer Nick Wooster.
The Woolmark Company split the competition, which recognises design excellence using Merino wool, into menswear and womenswear for the first time this edition. The judges whittled 61 nominated brands from 21 countries across Europe, the US, India and the Middle East, Asia and Australia, down to a final five.
The winners of both finals will receive a $100,000 AUD (£56,000) prize, on top of the 50,000 AUD (£28,000) already received for winning the regional award. In addition, the international winner will have their collection sold through Woolmark’s global retail partners including Harvey Nichols in the UK, Joyce in China, Saks 5th Avenue in the USA, Collette in France, 10 Corso Como in Italy, My Theresa online and David Jones in Australia.