In today´s podcast, we are going to learn how fashion awards work directly from the designers that just won the Regional Woolmark Prize.
Dubai Fashion News team congratulates the two winners: Ujjawal Dubey that won the menswear with his brand Antar- Agni and Ruchika Sachdeva that won the womenswear with her brand Bodice. We had the pleasure of interviewing these two creative souls and that is why you have a part 1 and a part 2 of this podcast.
They will share with us their individual visions, how they lived the submission and preparation for these regionals and how will they prepare for the prestigious global Woolmark Fashion Prize. Ujjawal Dubey from Antar- Agni will be the first audio you will hear. In 15 days, you will have Ruchika Sachdeva from Bodice.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK FASHION PRIZE
Well, you guessed it! The sponsors are the Woolmark Company. The Australian wool growers association that today are a worldwide reference when it comes to wool. Wool is not only a top-quality natural fiber, it is also super versatile. It will protect you from the cold and also from the heat. It stays dry which is very important because it avoids bacteria to grow. Wool is pretty awesome indeed.
The International Woolmark Prize rewards textile innovation applied to the fashion industry every year. They divide the entire world into regions and select the best textile innovation proposals from the nominated designers. Yep! Nominated because every region will have a number of bodies that will propose fashion designers that can come up with good ideas related to this. Dubai belongs to the region that encompasses the Middle East, India, and Pakistan. Once the regionals happened, there is a second round… the globals, the finals.
This last week at the Hotel Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai it took place the Regional Woolmark Prize gala dinner where they announced the winners. Just picture it… a beautifully arranged dining area, with low light and flowers in each table.. and you hear…
AND THE WINNER IN MENSWEAR IS… UJJAWAL DUBEY FROM ANTAR – AGNI!
He jumped. His face still showing disbelief… yet, we all push him.. Go! Go!.. Hugs and Congrats on the way to the stage. Ujjawal just won the menswear category.
That is how it happened at the magical night. Ujjawal tells us how he started Antar- Agni in March 2014 and that it means “Fire Within”. Famous for its cuts and drapes and its eco-friendly and genuine approach to fashion. That is probably what the judges of the panel liked from his proposal.
But he has won many fashion awards already with Antar- Agni. From Fobes India- 30 under 30 to GQ- 50 Most influential, Grazia, Elle… He is very humble but his journey is very impressive.
Hear it all here or on iTunes.
HOW FASHION AWARDS HELP YOUR BRAND?
The regional winners won AU$70.000 (around 205,156.00 AED), receive mentoring support from a global panel of experts along with being granted a Woolmark license. And the opportunity, of course, to compete in the finals.
Ujjawal shares that recognition and appreciation for his efforts are key for him. It is like a test. It means that what you are doing, the judges are liking and most probably the market will like it too.
Fashion awards help him build his brand and get its name out there, for shops, press, and further opportunities.
HOW DID UJJAWAL PREPARE?
Once he found out he was nominated ( by IMG India), he received the guidelines he needed to follow. Apart from a lot of documentation that he had to produce and submit. He also needed to come up with 6 looks for this competition that will fit the spirit of the contest. Only one needed to be produced, but the concept had to be developed.
AND NOW THE FINALS…. HOW IS HE GOING TO PREPARE?
Ujjawal is going to invest the money of the fashion award to produce the other 5 looks. That is one of the requirements for the finals. He wants to keep on thinking about how to improve his designs and as it is all hand-loomed it will require some time.
The finals will be taking place in Florence, Italy in January.
And you might be wondering what will be the prize if he wins the finals of these fashion awards?
The winners of the menswear and womenswear global finals will receive a further AU$200,000 (around 550.000 dirhams) as well as mentoring from industry experts.
In the finals, there is a third winner part of the newly introduced Innovation Award. So, there will be 3 awardees.
The 3 international winners will have the opportunity to have their collection distributed through the prize’s prestigious international retail network including Boon the Shop, S. Korea; Boutique 1, UAE; David Jones, Australia; De Bijenkorf, Amsterdam; Harvey Nichols, UK; Hudson’s Bay Company, Toronto; LECLAIREUR, Paris; mytheresa.com, ORDRE, and SSENSE.COM.
ABOUT ANTAR- AGNI
You can see and try on its menswear in Dubai at Vesimi and all across India and follow him on his social media. We need to support talent!
Antar- Agni´s website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
And also you can read the previous interview we did with all the Woolmark Candidates here.
And remember to also follow and subscribe to Dubai Fashion News. The magazine and the podcast where you can get to know everything about the fashion industry. Here we interview fashion designers, influencers, models, photographers, shop owners, … you name it. And what for? To learn their insights, their stories, and the lessons they learnt along the way.
So, if you are a fashion designer or if you know one that wants to learn how fashion awards work, make sure you listen and share the podcast, because it is full of insider tips and tricks. And remember, that Ruchika Sachdeva from Bodice is going to tell us how she prepared and lived this same experience in the next podcast.
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