British designer Saul Nash, a professional choreographer, is known for designing clothing that incorporates movement. His past collections were inspired by his London school days as well as Black folklore. But his latest one drew inspiration from an unlikely source: Australian merino wool. Why? Nash was one of seven finalists prompted by the Woolmark Company to create a collection using the material while considering the theme of “play.”
Nash incorporated the wool into activewear in his collection, which was described by judge Riccardo Tisci as “really incredible.” For Nash, his ballet background paid off.
On Wednesday night, he was named the winner of the International Woolmark Prize.
The collection was presented to a judging panel that included fashion names like Ben Gorham, Carine Roitfeld, Edward Enninful OBE, Ibrahim Kamara, Marc Newson CBE, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, Naomi Campbell, Pieter Mulier, Tisci, Shaway Yeh, Sinéad Burke, and Tim Blanks.
The other finalists were Ahluwalia, Egonlab, Jordan Dalah, Mmusomaxwell, Peter Do, and Rui. The South African duo behind Mmusomaxwell focused on sourcing raw materials and reducing their environmental impact, which led to them winning the Innovation Award.
“It’s great to see the continuing shifts in fashion as young dynamic creatives are supported and nurtured across the globe, from Africa to China to the U.K.,” said Campbell.