Nishant Raj from NID, Ahmedabad was announced the winner of the third edition of Wool Runway – a fashion design competition celebrating the best emerging talent from design campuses across India. Second and third place were Anam Husain from NIFT, Delhi and Franziska Knitsch from Pearl Academy, Rajouri respectively with the awards presented by Tony Huber, Consul General, The Consulate General Australia and Dilip Gianchandani, Country Manager, The Woolmark Company, India at a special event held in Mumbai.
An initiative by The Woolmark Company, Wool Runway invites tertiary students to design an outfit, made from the premium fibre Merino wool. Following the success of the previous two years awards, Wool Runway 2018 brought together students from 18 leading design campuses that included National Institute of Fashion Technology (Mumbai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Shillong, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Kannur, Kangra and Kolkata campuses), National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar campuses) and Pearl Academy (Mumbai, Delhi- Noida, Rajouri Garden and Jaipur campuses).
A first of its kind competition, Wool Runway aims to not only raise awareness, but also educate the next generation of wool consumers and inspire emerging fashion designers to work with Merino wool. This year had extraordinary participation from more than 195 students, with 15 making it to the final round selected by mentor Gautam Vazirani (IMG Reliance) and the respective student teacher consultants from each institute. The panel of industry experts included Kishor Bhatia, Director- Product, Raymond Fine Fabrics; Rina Singh, Fashion Designer; Priyanka Kapadia, Senior Fashion Editor, Vogue India; Partha Sinha, Creative Head, Louis Philippe and Luxor; Deepshika Khanna, Creative Head, Goodearth; and Rajat Bhattacharya, International Trainer in Luxury & Retail judged the final designs by the students. A once in a lifetime opportunity, the 15 finalists received personalised feedback from the judges along expert industry insights.
The final designs were displayed as live installations, giving the audience a firsthand look at the versatility of Merino wool. The students drew inspiration from various elements and topics close to their heart such as the blooming magnolia flower, Mumbai’s dhobi ghat and sustainable fashion to name a few.
The top three students were awarded prize money amounting to Rs. 1,20,000, Rs. 85,000 and Rs. 60,000 respectively. The winner will also be given the opportunity of a portfolio shoot of the winning garment by Vogue. “The designs were so unique and made with so much character, it’s unbelievable that these are students and not professionals,” explained The Woolmark Company, Country Manager India, Dilip Gianchandani.
“The maturity they showed in working with Merino wool is astounding. We believe in encouraging consumers to learn the benefits of Merino wool, and Wool Runway does that at an amateur level. Our constant yearning is to encourage talent and give them a platform in the industry while working with this luxurious fibre; Merino wool. This is the third year we have held Wool Runway and we are excited about the response from both students and colleges.”
“I am really excited to see such promising young talent,” added Raymond Fine Fabrics Director – Product, Kishor Bhatia. “I have always believed in constant innovation with global benchmarking to provide great value proposition to customers. I was extremely heartened to see the students’ hard work and imagination integrates into a great product synonymous with today’s contemporary fashion”.