Sydney Fashion Designer, Christopher Esber. Photo: Marco Del Grande Immaculate construction and precision tailoring have won designer Christopher Esber the Australian regional final of The International Woolmark Prize.
The award was announced today during a lunchtime ceremony at the Sydney Theatre Company, the highly regarded Esber was a favourite to take home the $50,000 cash prize.
The international award recognises fashion design excellence using Australian merino wool and has served as a platform for emerging talent for almost 50 years.
Esber’s six piece collection was judged by a panel of style heavy weights including David Jones general manager of womenswear, Sophie Clark, Harpers Bazaar, Editor-in-Chief, Kellie Hush and New York based photographer and founder of The Sartorialist blog, Scott Schuman.
“Australians have the tenacity needed to compete internationally,” said Mr Schuman. “This award can help someone who has true vision execute their passion properly and commercially”.
The Sydney based Esber competed against seven of Australia’s best young designers including Michael Lo Sordo, Alaistair Trung, Haryono Setiadi, Kahlo and Strateas Carlucci.
He will now represent Australia at the international finals in February where winners from India, China, Europe and America vie for the prestigious title and a $100,000 prize.
“We provide opportunity for the great designers of tomorrow,” said Robert Langtry, Global Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Woolmark Company. “To help launch their careers and show true innovation.”
In addition to the cash prize, the global winner will have their clothes stocked at the best department stores in the world including Harvey Nichols in Britain, Bergdorf Goodman in the United States and Joyce in China.
Known for his restraint Esber’s signature aesthetic was prominent throughout the winning designs.
“Purity of construction can be fundamentally established by designing from the thread up,” said Esber. “Utilising the skills and knowledge of the Australian Weaver & Spinners Guild I developed unique and exclusive textiles for the collection”.
The finals, held in Milan in February, will be judged by some of fashions most influential names including Diane Von Furstenberg, Victoria Beckham and Donatella Versace.
If Esber wins he will join an alumnus that includes Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. “I am so humbled” said Esber, “Today I’m one step closer to my dream.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.