Meet the 2016 International Woolmark Prize Finalists (and Find Out What They Think of Donald Trump)

J KOO (Asia) 
Photo: Courtesy

New York Fashion Week is not all about American fashion. In fact, it has long been a melting pot of designers who come to the city from other countries to show their collections on a big stage. On Friday night, for example, six finalists representing different world regions will come together to compete for the big win in the International Woolmark Prize for women’s wear.

To get you up to speed on the finalists, each of whom won similar contests in their respective regions, we’ve asked them to respond to an InStyle pop quiz:

TANYA TAYLOR (North America; above)
If you had to sell yourself to the judges of the International Woolmark Prize in only one Twitter message, what would it be?
Inspired by a bull’s-eye—my woman is a modern archer spinning in a Technicolor, prismatic, Merino world.

What is the first thing your competitors should do upon their arrival in New York?
Go to Washington Square Park and take in the energy of the city.

Describe your Woolmark collection in three words.
Vibrant modern archer.

What celebrity's personal style most closely matches that of your own?
A young Talitha Getty.

What do people in your country think of Donald Trump?
It's a love or hate situation.

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TALLER MARMO (India, Pakistan, and the Middle East)

TALLER MARMO (India, Pakistan, and the Middle East) 
Courtesy

If you had to sell yourself to the judges of the International Woolmark Prize in only one Twitter message, what would it be?
Dedicated to women of every age, Taller Marmo clothes are made mixing culture, craftsmanship and fantasy.

What is the first thing you plan to do upon your arrival in New York for the finals?
Yago Goicoechea: “I am going to hug my mother and sister that are coming from Argentina to New York to support us. I haven’t see them since August!”
Riccardo Audisio: “Being Italian, I am super curious to try the New York style pizza!”

Describe your Woolmark collection in three words.
Ageless, fierce, daring.

What celebrity's personal style most closely matches that of your own?
We are highly inspired by women with a great sense of style like Florence Welch, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Carmen Dell'Orefice, to name a few.

5. What do people in your country think of Donald Trump?
Because of the way he talked during his campaign, the discontent of the Muslim community grew significantly, even more in Dubai where his last name is (or was) everywhere, from real estate projects to home-wear. Even Ivanka Trump was removed from a billboard.

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NANNA VAN BLAADEREN (Europe)

NANNA VAN BLAADEREN (Europe)
Courtesy

If you had to sell yourself to the judges of the International Woolmark Prize in only one Twitter message, what would it be?
I am passionate and persistent in achieving my mission to further establish my label by offering women today, who lead busy, demanding lives, a wardrobe which embodies softness, comfort, elegance, quality, and functionality and at the same time is gentle for our environment.

What is the first thing you plan to do upon your arrival in New York for the finals?
Concentrate on the event, the finals, meeting the team and the other participants, enjoying the whole event to the fullest.

Describe your Woolmark collection in three words.
Sophisticated, gentle, modern.

What celebrity's personal style most closely matches that of your own?
Christy Turlington, understated timeless elegance.

What do people in your country think of Donald Trump?
Not really my cup of tea (my opinion, don’t know about the rest of the Dutch).

03 of 05

TEATUM JONES (British Isles)

TEATUM JONES (British Isles) 
Courtesy

If you had to sell yourself to the judges of the International Woolmark Prize in only one Twitter message, what would it be?
This is only the beginning of Teatum Jones’ journey with wool and we feel that we are the best candidates to take on the role of Woolmark Ambassadors.

What is the first thing you plan to do upon your arrival in New York for the finals?
Visit our fave Williamsburg cocktail bar and order two whiskey sours!

Describe your Woolmark collection in three words.
Desirable, innovative, modern.

What celebrity's personal style most closely matches that of your own?
Tilda Swinton.

What do people in your country think of Donald Trump?
A bizarre and troubled young boy trapped in a man's body.

04 of 05

BIANCA SPENDER (Australia)

BIANCA SPENDER (Australia) 
Courtesy

If you had to sell yourself to the judges of the International Woolmark Prize in only one Twitter message, what would it be?
Bianca Spender’s modern pioneer wears dusty tones, translucent fluidity and precision draping which emerge from layers of slashed wool felts.

What is the first thing you plan to do upon your arrival in New York for the finals?
See art, art, and more art.

Describe your Woolmark collection in three words.
Two are enough! Modern pioneer.

What celebrity's personal style most closely matches that of your own?
Tilda Swinton -- we share an appreciation for asymmetrical draping and tailoring. I love how she is as comfortable in a suit and flats as a bias cut gown on the red carpet.

What do people in your country think of Donald Trump?
We are concerned that he is sensationalist and conservative. I think Australians are very surprised that he could actually have a chance at becoming the U.S. president.

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J KOO (Asia)

J KOO (Asia) 
Courtesy

If you had to sell yourself to the judges of the International Woolmark Prize in only one Twitter message, what would it be?
"It always seems impossible until it’s done." —Nelson Mandela.

What is the first thing you plan to do upon your arrival in New York for the finals?
At the beginning of this project, we did not expect we would be in the final. But now we are in the final stage and excited to be in N.Y.C. Looking forward to exploring the city.

Describe your Woolmark collection in three words.
Innovative, curious, familiar.

What celebrity's personal style most closely matches that of your own?
I wear jeans and a sweatshirt every day. They are like my uniform. Maybe similar with Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs.

What do people in your country think of Donald Trump?
He is a clever guy who knows how to use the media to get attention. However, he needs to be more responsible in what he says.

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