Fashion icons Victoria Beckham and Diane von Furstenberg have joined the judging panel of the prestigious International Woolmark Prize, which celebrates the best new design talents.
The fashion designers lead the panel of industry experts of the global fashion competition, which celebrates the best new design talents.
The panel - which also includes Donatella Versace - will award the best Merino wool designer in the world with the prestigious International Woolmark Prize, a
competition that launched the careers of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in the 1950s.
Up until now, the competition has kept a relatively low profile, but is now set to take centre stage as it joins the London Fashion Week schedule with a star studded event on February 16 2013, with the support of the British Fashion Council.
Regional awards have been taking place globally for the past year and have narrowed the shortlist
down to six entrants representing Europe, USA, China, Australia, Japan and India. The finalists are: Sophie Theallet from the US, Christian Wijnants from Belgium (for
Europe), Ban Xiao Xiu from China, Dion Lee from Australia, DRESSEDUNDRESSED from Japan
and Pankaj and Nidhi from India.
The prize includes a $100,000 AUD sponsorship and the winner's Merino wool collections merchandised in the world's most important retailers including Harvey Nichols in the UK, Bergdorf Goodman in the USA, 10 Corso Como in Italy, Joyce in China, David Jones in Australia
and Eickohoff Konigsallee in Germany.
Stuart McCullough, CEO, Australian Wool Innovation, said: ''Since the regional awards in July 2012, the International Woolmark Prize has gained extraordinary momentum and support, highlighted by the announcement of the most important names in the industry on the final judging panel. This prize speaks the international language of fashion and reaffirms the deep connection the Woolmark holds within the global fashion industry.''