Fashion designer Rahul Mishra was named the winner of the International Woolmark Prize for 2014-2015 on Friday during Milan Fashion Week in Italy. Mishra is the first Indian designer to win the prize, and received $90,000 in prize money as well as collaborations with retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Harvey Nichols and Colette
The contest required that the five competing designers –– each of whom represented their own region –– create six-piece collection made entirely from merino wool and display as a fashion show for a panel of elite judges, which included Franca Sozzani, Tim Blanks, Colette Garnsey, Angelica Cheung, Alexa Chung and representatives from the competition’s global retail partners.
“For me, Rahul has won because of his ability to apply his knowledge of embroideries through wool, one of the most versatile fibers with originality in an unexpected way,” said Gucci creative director Frida Giannini.
Based in Mumbai and Delhi, Mishra’s designs paid homage to his Indian ancestry with lotus patterns and and a yellow-and-white palette. “My biggest inspiration came from Buddha’s idea that a lotus is an embryo of the world,” Mishra said, explaining the inspiration behind his collection. “I’m a story teller, I love telling stories!”