Design students from various leading fashion universities showcased innovative techniques at the second edition of Wool Runway that was held in Mumbai recently. Envisioned as a celebration of tertiary fashion designers, the competition organised by the Woolmark Company also educated more than 700 students on the benefits and versatility of Merino wool.
Displaying an eclectic mix of the finalists’ designs as live installations, participants presented outfits that were an exploration of the versatile nature of Merino wool with their signature aesthetics. All the designs were evaluated against a strict criterion that included the use of at least 80 per cent wool per outfit, garment construction, overall presentation and more. The participants also received feedback and mentor-ship from the judges which will help nurture their career.
Ravi Manil Prakash was declared the Wool Runway winner, Abhinav Tyagi was the 1st runner up and Nikita Chhajer and Saachi Khattar were jointly announced as the 2nd runner up and were each awarded prize money amounting to Rs 1,00,000, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. The awards were presented by The Woolmark Company’s ambassador Shravan Reddy and jury members.
“The designs were a breath of fresh air and it was amazing to see the efforts the students have put in to showcase Merino wool at its finest,” said The Woolmark Company country manager India, Arti Gudal. “We have always believed in educating consumers on the benefits of Merino, and Wool Runway does that at a student level. It has been our constant effort to promote budding talent and give them the chance to explore possibilities in the industry while working with Merino wool. We’re excited to see how the Wool Runway experience will enrich and develop the students’ careers.”
“I have always been honored to associate with The Woolmark Company as they have been an essential part of my journey as a designer. Wool Runway has given me a chance to share my learning and experience in working with the intricacies of Merino wool. The fibre itself is absolutely versatile and the different dimensions that the students have added to it with their techniques are great to see. It is a great initiative and I have thoroughly enjoyed judging the wonderful talent and understanding their inspiration and the thought process behind their designs,” said designer Rahul Mishra.
“Wool Runway is an enriching design and learning platform for aspiring students as they challenge their ability and gain recognition for their work. It has been fascinating to see how the students have managed to hero a natural fibre like Merino wool in their garments and have maximised its potential to present garments that have a balance of design aesthetic, quality and comfort. They are definitely on their way to becoming Gen Next talent,” said designer Nachiket Barve.
“It is a remarkable competition for students who want to improve their understanding in the field of fashion and design through the study of Merino wool,” said designer Dhruv Kapoor. “I have seen numerous innovative designs while judging and have noticed that the competition has exposed students to the range of roles and career paths available within the wool industry.”