As one of the most coveted designer awards in fashion, the prize recognises outstanding talent across both womenswear and menswear. The regional award nominees include four names for the mens category and eight for women's with eight coming from Australia and three from New Zealand.



Australian men's labels Ex Infinitas, Chris Ran Lin, Shhorn and AMXANDER top the nominee list this year. Patrick Johnson won the category in 2015 for his self-titled tailoring line.


First launched in 1953 by the International Wool Secretariat, the prize was famously awarded in 1954 to Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in Paris. More than 75 designers have been selected from 62 countries to participate in this year's award, which showcases the superb qualities of Australian Merino wool.


Six regional events will be held during June and July in Hong Kong, Milan, Mumbai, New York, London, and Sydney. Nominees will present one look in Merino wool and a six-piece capsule concept to industry experts for the chance to represent their region at the final awards.


Twelve finalists will each receive a AU$50,000 financial contribution towards their next collection and an invitation to participate in the international finals.


The winners of the menswear and womenswear finals will receive a further AU$100,000 to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection along with invaluable mentoring from industry experts.


In addition, both international winners will have the opportunity to have their collection distributed through prestigious international retail partners including Harvey Nichols in the UK, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, David Jones in Australia, Boutique 1 in the UAE, Verso in Belgium, LECLAIREUR in Paris, Boon the Shop in South Korea, The Papillion in Indonesia and online through (womenswear) and (menswear).