The winners of the fourth iteration of The Woolmark Company’s Wool Runway have been announced, celebrated by the judges for their innovative thinking.
Wool Runway is a unique design competition that empowers students in India to apply innovations in Merino wool to their chosen apparel segment. To raise awareness and educate the next generation of wool consumers, Wool Runway inspires emerging fashion designers to work with Merino wool.
The design competition has instigated innovative thinking amongst students in the premier design institutes around the country. In the past four years the competition has seen 2470 illustrations of Merino Wool apparel designs submitted by 443 participants.
This year, the competition consisted of 95 candidates from across India from premier design institutes including the National Institute of Fashion Technology, the National Institute of Design, FAD International, Banasthali University, Pearl Academy and the Instituto Marangoni Mumbai Campus.
The top 10 finalists were shortlisted by mentor and revered fashion stylist, Ekta Rajani. The established jury included Atul Apte, Design Director, Apparel, Raymond Group; Kailash Bhatia, Director, Burnt Umber Fashion Pvt Ltd; Ruchika Sachdeva, Founder of designer label BODICE and International Woolmark Prize Winner 2017-18; and Dilip Gianchandani, Country Manager, India, The Woolmark Company.
Debajyoti Sengupta from NID, Ahmedabad was announced as the winner of the fourth edition of Wool Runway, the second and third place were Sayantika Dutta from NID, Gandhinagar and Arjun Bajaj from NIFT, Delhi.
A mosaic of colours and designs, the final creations made with Merino wool were displayed as live installations in Mumbai, providing the audience a first-hand look at the versatility of the fibre. The students drew inspiration from various elements and topics close to their personal experience such as the lost art of letter writing to women empowerment, timelessness and the protection of the environment.
“Every design I saw tonight was distinctive and exemplary.” said the Woolmark Company, Country Manager India, Dilip Gianchandani. “We believe in encouraging young talent and celebrating outstanding fashion geniuses who showcase the beauty and versatility of Merino wool. The participants have excelled in showing the multiple benefits and innovations in Merino wool – a renewable, innovative and luxurious fibre. We are thrilled to have received such enthusiastic responses from students and their colleges in the fourth edition of the Wool Runway.”
The top three students were awarded prize money with the winner awarded, INR 1,20,000, second place awarded INR 85,000 and third place awarded INR 60,000. The winner was also given the opportunity to have an exclusive portfolio photo shoot of the winning garment with Vogue India.
A pep talk session was also arranged for the finalists where the previous Wool Runway winners, Ravi Manil & Nishant Raj of 2017 and 2018 respectively spoke to the finalists about their journey post the big win.