And the winner of the coveted 2016/7 International Woolmark Prize is—drumroll, please—Gabriela Hearst, emerging designer, philanthropist, and fashion industry darling (we've been fans of her vision for seasons—like this impeccably tailored suit washed in an on-trend shade of millennial pink or this delightful evening gown-and-brogue pairing).
Ok, but back to the topic on hand. Hearst beat out five other finalists for womenswear (Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty of Cottweiler for menswear) to an impressive panel of judges, comprising Victoria Beckham, Lanvin's creative director Bouchra Jarrar, Woolmark Company's managing director Stuart McCullough, and a whole slew of buyers and editors at prestigious titles.
"The International Woolmark Prize gives a huge opportunity to young designers globally," Beckham said in a release. "It shows how much you can do with wool as a designer. I was very much in support of Gabriela. For me, she is the worthy winner. I love what she does and she's clearly very talented. I like her eye, she has great product and she's a strong woman. I have a huge amount of respect for her. I'm proud and honored to get involved in this and help make this possible for her."
And her reward? $76,000 ($100,000 Australian) that will be put toward her namesake line, along with expert advice, and the chance to craft her capsule collection in Merino wool and sold at boutiques around the world.
Hearst's predecessors include fashion legends Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in 1954, modern-day fashion heroes Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School. Suffice it to say, Hearst is definitely a designer to watch.