International Woolmark Prize British Isles Regional Winners

COTTWEILER was announced yesterday as the menswear winner, of the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize British Isles regional final.

Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty of COTTWEILER.

“COTTWEILER displayed an innate understanding of the fibre, a keen commercial sensibility and a great design aesthetic,” commented Dylan Jones. “They appear to have the ability to turn their designs and Merino wool into successful retail collections.”

Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty, the designers behind the brand COTTWEILER, presented a forward-thinking design and worked with an Italian mill that specialises in technical, high performance sportswear to create their winning menswear look. “COTTWEILER are a young brand but they understand what’s happening in menswear now,” explained Gordon Richardson, Creative Director of TOPMAN. “They have youthful content and were very clever with how they transformed wool in the sportswear arena. That’s something you don’t usually see and the collection was something you want to wear right now. That’s the real skill of a designer – they are definitely in the moment.”

“It’s a real honour for us to be able to do our classic look and reimagine it for the prize – the technical properties of the natural Merino wool allow the garment to be windproof, waterproof and breathable – and all of this in the COTTWEILER style.” – Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty

The Judging Panel – including TOPMAN Creative Director, Gordon Richardson; Fashion Designer, Roksanda Ilincic; Dylan Jones, OBE, Editor British GQ; Emily Sheffield, Deputy Editor, British Vogue; Anita Barr, Group Fashion Buying Director, Harvey Nichols; Simon Chilvers, Men’s Style Director, MATCHESFASHION.COM; and Bridget Cosgrave, Fashion and Buying Director, Boutique 1 Group.

Chosen from amongst the most promising fashion design talents from the Britain, COTTWEILER will gain a financial contribution of AU$50,000, plus the opportunity to represent Britain and compete in the prestigious international final. For the next six months, they will be developing a capsule collection in Merino wool, to be showcased at The International menswear final held during London Collections: Men in January 2017.

COTTWEILER with Faustine Steinmetz who won the womenswear award.

About The Woolmark Company

The Woolmark Company is the global authority on wool. Through our extensive network of relationships spanning the international textile and fashion industries, we highlight Australian wool’s position as the ultimate natural fibre and premier ingredient in luxury apparel.

The Woolmark logo is one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands, providing assurance of the highest quality, and representing pioneering excellence and innovation from farm through to finished product.

For more information on the International Woolmark Prize go to

Chris Chasseaud

Chris is the Style & Features Editor at Ape to Gentleman, and one of the UK's leading style commentators. Having worked in the fashion and design world for his entire career he's well placed to deliver sartorial advice.