Victoria Beckham, Diane Von Furstenberg and Donatella Versace are among the designer names on the judging panel for this year’s International Woolmark Prize.
The judging panel, which will also include Paula Reed, creative director at Harvey Nichols, and Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, will award the best Merino wool designer in the world with the prize.
The competition has also joined the roster for London Fashion Week, with an event scheduled for February 16.
A shortlist of six contestants has been narrowed down after regional awards across Europe, USA, China, Australia, Japan and India. The six finalists are Sophie Theallet from the US, Christian Wijnants from Belgium, Ban Xiao Xiu from China, Dion Lee from Australia, DressedUndressed from Japan and Pankaj and Nidhi from India.
The winner of the award will receive $100,000 AUS (£65,245) sponsorship and the collection will be sold in retailers including Harvey Nichols.
Stuart McCullough, chief executive of the Australian Wool Innovation, said: “Since the regional awards in July 2012, the International Woolmark Prize has gained extraordinary momentum and support, highlighted by the announcement of the most important names in the industry on the final judging panel. This prize speaks the international language of fashion and reaffirms the deep connection the Woolmark holds within the global fashion industry.”