Matty Bovan wins 2021 International Woolmark Prize

19th August 2021

Fashion Designer Matty Bovan has won both the International Woolmark Prize and the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, becoming only the second Designer in IWP history to win the double award.

Praised for his ‘technically advanced weave designs’ which were developed in collaboration with Hainsworth and woven on the jacquard looms at the iconic mill, Matty’s sustainable approach to local sourcing and innovative designs were applauded by the panel of esteemed judges.     

One of the first to take up Hainsworth’s new Bespoke service, Matty’s intricately patterned designs were translated onto the jacquard loom using stunning, ethereal images from his archives. Woven from 100% merino wool, a key requirement of the International Woolmark Prize, Matty’s collection showcases the outstanding creative capabilities of pure merino wool and the jacquard loom.

“What impressed me about Matty is his capacity to win both awards – for his innovation and creativity and I really think he deserves it,” said judge Carine Roitfeld. “He is pure fashion; he makes me dream and he reminds me of a young Vivienne Westwood or a John Galliano and we desperately need that sort of designer in the fashion world of today.”

Matty’s Ode to the Sea collection takes inspiration from travelling and escapism, with strong colour combinations and unique silhouettes. Working with a tight supply chain of local manufacturers, craftspeople and artisans, his designs were brought to life with creative techniques such as screen printing and hand painting. Using deadstock roll ends from Hainsworth gave new life to fabric that might ordinarily have been discarded.  

The impressive panel of judges included Carine Roitfeld, Ib Kamara, Shaway Yeh, Sinéad Burke, Tasha Liu, Thom Browne, Tim Blanks and Julie Davies.

“Matty is truly and authentically creative, proving and representing that everything starts from pure creativity,” said judge Thom Browne. “He is also true to himself as a creative, a true individual and true individual are the best leaders. For me, there is nothing more inspiring than young artists who are unique and true to themselves.”

The six finalists for this year’s award were Bethany Williams, Casablanca, Kenneth Ize, LECAVALIER, THEBE MAGUGU and Matty Bovan.

Find out more about Hainsworth’s bespoke jacquard fabric service.