Image courtesy of Woolmark

Richard Malone, who only on Friday showed his AW20 womenswear collection at London Fashion Week, has been named the winner of the International Woolmark Prize 2020. Since 1953 the prize has been awarded annually to designers who celebrate Australian Merino wool through specially-designed collections.

This year the panel of judges, which included Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, Dior Men’s artistic director Kim Jones and Vogue’s own Hamish Bowles, chose Malone from 10 finalists.

Also amongst the other shortlisted designers and labels were A-Cold-Wall, Blindness, Bode, Feng Chen Wang, GmbH and Namacheko, Ludovic de Saint Sernin, Matthew Adams Dolan and Botter.

Image courtesy of Woolmark

Ludovic de Saint Sernin showed a minimalist ‘Heartbreak' collection, Matthew Adams Dolan presented an exaggerated interpretation of Americana featuring bright pink suiting, and Botter’s Caribbean-inspired collection was made from deadstock.

Richard Malone’s collection was inspired by his upbringing in Wexford and workwear and was praised by the judges for its "considered, functional and beautifully made garments that minimise harm to the environment and work towards creating a circular, sustainable fashion system". 

The Irish designer’s winning garments featured orange, blue and green knitted textiles. The wool he used had partially been made by farms in Tamil Nadu in India using regenerative techniques and natural dyes. Malone was also commended for his transparent and sustainable approach to fashion production, something that has been at the core of his eponymous label since its launch in 2015.