The International Woolmark Prize Taps the Creative Powers of Solange Knowles

The singer and creative will oversee the creation of brand videos—plus, see the already-impressive designers on the short list.

Words by Shelby Ying Hyde

Solange Knowles performs at Kenzo Menswear Spring Summer 2020 show. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

In the spirit of investing in the future of fashion, the finalists of the International Woolmark Prize, or the IWP, have been announced. To bring the finalists’ presentations to life, Woolmark is tapping Solange Knowles and her studio, Saint Heron, allowing the singer and her team to put their own spin on the visuals. From images to a hero film and more, viewers can expect guest appearances from legendary singer Dionne Warwick and Pose actress-turned-runway model Dominique Jackson (featured below) showcasing designs from the competition’s selected talent.

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Six talented brands and designers from around the world will take part in Woolmark’s highly specific, 18-month incubation program. Representing five countries, the list of IWP finalists includes Bethany Williams and Matty Bovan from the United Kingdom, French-based brand Casablanca, Kenneth Ize of Nigeria, Lecavalier from Canada, and fan-favorite Thebe Magugu from South Africa.

“In continuing Saint Heron’s world making practice, ‘Passage’ further explores my interest in theatrical production through the translation of identity, spirit, philosophy and creation,” said Knowles in a statement regarding the Woolmark collaboration. “Whether it be through album artwork, stage design, or filmmaking, I’ve always sought to create new visual languages that encompass the expressions my other works cannot communicate.

“I’m inspired to expand these processes through the Saint Heron Agency with a wider scope of collaborations and projects,” continued Knowles. “To reflect on and honor the creative process with the 2021 International Woolmark Prize finalists, ‘Passage’ aligns with Saint Heron’s mission to reverence creation as life, from abstraction to being. I’ve been a longtime fan of Wu Tsang’s work and to be able to work alongside her, theSaint Heron team, and all of the incredible artists and designers in the film, really fortifies the ethos of collaboration and communal creative exchange that we wish to continue to embody.”

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The prize is designed with a focus on product innovation and creation, and is meant to assist each participant through mentorship, workshops, and other educational activities. IWP has famously honored such luminaries as Karl Lagerfeld, and its inherently sustainable nature—wool is very eco-friendly—also makes it incredibly modern. Each of the six finalists will receive AU$60,000 (about $47,000) to create their own Merino collection, with the grand prize winner scoring AU$200,000 (about $155,000) and the Karl Lagerfeld Innovation Award recipient getting AU$100,000 (about $77,500).


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