Meet the 2018 Finalists

In its inaugural year the Woolmark Performance Challenge attracted 510 student registrations from 58 Universities from across Europe and North America. The inaugural winner of the Woolmark Performance Challenge will be announced on 9 November 2018 at Outdoor Retailer in Denver, Colorado.

The 10 finalists for the 2017/18 Woolmark Performance Challenge are:

Jeni Allison
MA Knitwear (Design, Heritage and Production)
Heriot Watt University, UK

“I am interested in combining the naturally occurring technical properties of Merino wool with innovations in technology and knitwear production to create beautiful activewear which both inspires and allows people to be fitter in their everyday lives.”

Youngmi Kim
Postgraduate Program - Major in garment (Womenswear)
Institut Français de la Mode, France

“And the story must continue.”

Lihong Lao
Ph.D. candidate in Materials Science and Engineering (Fiber Science)
Cornell University, Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design, USA

“My research interest is surface chemistry for different fibrous materials to enable different new functionalities, such as for Merino wool fibres.”

Marlies Reukers
International Fashion Design (BSc of Fashion and Textile Technologies)
Amsterdam Fashion Institute, AMFI, Netherlands

“Refined Merino knits played an important role in my pursuit of comfort optimisation. Merino wool was responsible for the thermal sense of comfort, while I used 3D virtual prototyping to analyse and increase mobility features and the freedom of movement.”

Martin Stricker
Industrial Design
ECAL (Ecole Cantonale d'Art de Lausanne), Switzerland

“Now I truly want a Merino sheep in my garden.”

Alicia Ferreira de Sousa
Knitwear Design
L’École de la Maille de Paris, France

“‘Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed’ - Lavoisier. This quote was my guideline in my work for this project with Merino wool. Take inspiration from the existential elements and behaviours of nature in order to rethink, improve, revalorize and recycle them to open useful fields of applications, both sustainable and ecological.”

Christel Thue Høgsted
Master of Science in Sports Product Design
University of Oregon, USA

“We need to develop an alternative to the massive use of man-made fibres used in sports apparel. With the newest innovations within Merino wool we can now create high-performance products with low environmental impact.”

Olivia Echols
Master of Science in Sports Product Design
University of Oregon, USA

“What I find most interesting about Merino wool, is that it already has so many of the amazing benefits that synthetics try to replicate. Why recreate what already occurs in the natural world?”

Inga Grether
Textile Management
Albstadt-Sigmaringen University, Germany

“The combination of modern technology with natural materials is the sustainability of the future. This would be my first experience in working with Merino.”

Phoebe Edwards
Fashion Knitwear Design Masters Degree
Nottingham Trent University, UK

“As a specialist in performance-wear and knit innovation, I have identified a niche in the skiwear base-layer industry, using Merino wool's incredible performance properties to combine technical knit structure placement with anatomy and biomechanical considerations such as muscle identification with stretch, compression, heat harnessing, joint support and ventilation allocations to combat the challenge of fashion vs functionality within a second skin supporting base layer.”