Last night saw label Ex Infinitas – and designer Lukas Vincent – named International Woolmark Prize regional menswear winner 2016/17.



Richard Clune


The label – which has been making international inroads the past 18 months built on its strong ability to meld quintessential Australian themes to acute craftsmanship and luxury fabrics – held off other category finalists, Chris Ran Lin, Shhorn and AmXander.


In presenting to the judges yesterday, a panel that included acclaimed Canadian designer Jason Wu, British designer Richard Nicoll and GQ Australia publisher Nick Smith, among others  – Vincent put forward a playful-yet-innovate capsule collection inspired by surf-skate culture, replete with bucket hat.


“I wanted to create this luxury surf-dandy sensibility – and have a distinct surf element to it. So I was actively looking for fabrics that reflected that aesthetic,” Vincent told GQ after claiming his award last night. 


“Something that looks and feels Australian, but also effortlessly global. There are many things we choose to ignore and those were the things I wanted to highlight, so for the Woolmark and main collection lookbook, I had the boys in an abandoned artists space smoking joints and drinking beer. That’s part of our culture – and I find it interesting no one has touched on that in fashion [here].”


Technically advanced in construction, many of Ex Infinitas pieces combined wool and nylon, Vincent wanting to move the traditional material “into a modern space.”


Ex Infinitas will now compete for the International Woolmark Prize in early 2017, alongside last night’s Australia/NZ womenswear winners, sister-act, McGraw.


GQ’s Editor-in-chief Nick Smith, who sat on the judging panel for the Woolmark regional award, said of Lukas winning: “To win the Woolmark menswear award you have to have a strong and relevant concept behind your capsule collection and Ex Infinitas with it's dandy meets surf culture had that in spades by tapping into the highly coveted sports-luxe category. 


“Refined manufacturing is key and up close the individual pieces felt luxurious and well put together. Then there is innovation with wool and mixing wool with nylon with surfwear detailing really impressed the judges. 


“Lukas the creative designer of the brand is also highly marketable. A polished presenter, absolutely passionate about what he is doing and has a strong commercial acumen that will lead to success.”


Previous regional winners have included GQ faves Strateas Carlucci and Patrick Johnson, among others.