Lagos Space Programme Nominated for International Woolmark Prize 2023

Words by The Folklore Team

Nigerian brand Lagos Space Programme has been announced as one of the nominated brands for The Woolmark Company’s annual International Woolmark Prize in 2023.

Celebrating the versatility of Merino wool in the hands of the world’s most promising designers, the award has supported the careers of many emerging designers, some of whom have gone on to build internationally successful businesses.

According to the Woolmark Company, the brands nominated for the 2023 prize represent the next generation of creative game-changers, destined to design fashion for a better tomorrow while highlighting the beauty, versatility and eco-credentials of wool. Alongside Lagos Space Programme, the other selected brands are Los Angeles-based Rhude, Denmark’s A. Roege Hove, France’s Bluemarble, Marco Rambaldi from Italy, Korean brand MAXXIJ, Robin Lynch of Ireland and the UK’s Paolina Russo.

Founded by designer Adeju Thompson, Lagos Space Programme presented its first collection in 2018, showing trans-seasonal ready-to-wear pieces designed to be genderless and to challenge traditional African norms. Since then, the brand has steadily made gains in the international fashion scene, showing at Milan Fashion Week and being shortlisted for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers in 2021.

“To be chosen as a finalist is a huge honour. As someone whose practice has been centered around documenting cultural memories and highlighting their relevance to contemporary culture, I am interested in the ways in which clothing and textiles remain critical parts of African spirituality and creativity and an important means of livelihood,” Thompson said at the announcement of his Woolmark Prize nomination.

The theme for the 2023 prize is “Dialogue”, which represents an element of the creative process and acts as a message to and for the next generation. It is a reflection of the Woolmark Company’s mission to establish dialogue and connect leading design talent with players in the industry to envision a more sustainable future.

The eight finalists have been tapped to create a mini capsule of six looks made from merino wool as part of their autumn/winter 2023 collection, designed to highlight the versatility and innovative nature of the textile.

One finalist will be awarded the International Woolmark Prize and receive AU$200,000 to invest in the development of their business. The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation will be awarded to another finalist, with the winner receiving AU$100,000. The Woolmark Supply Chain Award will also be presented, celebrating outstanding contribution from a trade partner driving wool supply chain innovation.

All finalists will have the opportunity to be stocked at some of the world’s leading stores, via the International Woolmark Prize Retailer Network.

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