Christian Wijnants lands in Harvey Nichols

Winner of the International Woolmark prize

‘As soon as I saw his pieces I didn’t care about anyone else, I knew he was the winner for me,’ says Paula Reed, fashion director of Harvey Nichols, of this year’s International Woolmark Prize winner, Christian Wijnants. Reed was on the judging panel that also included Victoria Beckham, Donatella Versace and Diane von Furstenberg, charged with choosing a worthy recipient of the $105,000 fund. The Belgian designer was an easy pick.


Today the capsule collection that bagged Wijnants the honour lands in a pop-up store on the fourth floor of Harvey Nichols. There are six pieces, sculptural cocoon dresses and coats painstakingly dyed using a Japanese technique called shibori. Each piece took around a fortnight to dye. This is not fast fashion, but it’s worth it. ‘Everyone I speak to, whether it’s taxi drivers or buyers in Japan, has heard of Woolmark so from a branding and exposure point of view it’s been incredible,’ says Winjant of the prize.


The Belgian designer is in London for just a few hours – he has to return to his Antwerp studio to put the finishing touches to his s/s 2014 collection, due to be unveiled at Paris Fashion Wek in a few short weeks. ‘It’s all coming together. All the samples are coming into the studio and it’s a strange moment because they never look quite how you imagined them. I always hate everything to begin with so there’s a lot of editing and changing. But it’s fun. Although my whole team hates me right now for leaving!’

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