Menswear line DYNE, whose designer is FIT alumnus Christopher Bevans, has been announced as the menswear winner of the 2017/18 International Woolmark Prize USA regional final, at an awards event held in New York City last month.
Inspired by learning to snowboard in the 1980s—wearing a wool bomber jacket—the Portland-based Bevans’s winning design was a technical snowboard outfit, complete with an NFC chip in the water-resistant wool jacket to track users in avalanches and ultimately bridge the gap between the brand and the consumer.
“First, I’m honoured to win this award. Everyone at Woolmark has been so positive in helping me understand more about wool and how it works. To win this award has left me speechless,” Bevans said after his win. “It’s been a fantastic ride, and I’m looking forward to working more with wool and The Woolmark Company as well as becoming a mentor to future emerging designers.”
Zaid Affas, British-born but living in Los Angeles, was the 2017 winner for women’s wear.
Bevans and Affas will each take home AU$70,000 (about $56,000) and spend the next six or seven months creating a six-piece capsule collection from merino wool to showcase at the International Woolmark Prize finals alongside competing regional designers from around the world. This year, a few changes are ahead for the International Woolmark Prize: the prize money has increased to AU$200,000 (about $159,000) and a third winner will take home the new Innovation Award, which celebrates the most unique and creative yarn or fabric development.
The panel that decided on the regional finalists comprised André Leon Talley, fashion author, consultant, and former editor-at-large for Vogue; Kate Lanphear, brand strategist and consultant; Laura Brown, editor-in-chief, InStyle; Stefano Tonchi, editor-in-chief, W Magazine; Steven Kolb, president and CEO, CFDA; Julie Gilhart, fashion consultant, and International Woolmark Prize mentor; Malcolm Carfrae, founder, Carfrae Consulting, and International Woolmark Prize mentor; Nick Sullivan, fashion director, Esquire; and Michelle A. Lee, head of Americas, The Woolmark Company.