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adidas and The Woolmark Company announce 2019 Woolmark Performance Challenge winners

Two finalists have taken home the win at the 2019 adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge held in Munich, Germany.

Hyokyoung Lee from Institut Français de la Mode, France and Hope Kemp-Hanson from Savannah College of Art and Design, USA were announced the winners, which is set to kick-start the careers of both Hope and Hyokyoung. Hope has been awarded a three-month paid internship with adidas – with the sports giant seeing real potential in the young designer’s career; while, Hyokyoung was awarded the prize money of €10,000 to further develop her innovative and commercially viable idea of an energy-generating Merino wool base-layer.

The award was judged by a highly esteemed panel of judges, including:


“At adidas we believe that through sport we have the power to change lives,” said Tillman Studrucker after the event. “The concepts presented by Hope and Hyokyoung were the most impressive ideas enabling people to experience the transformative power of sport by combining innovation, style and the functional benefits of wool. I want to thank all of the finalists for sharing their concepts. Deciding on the winners was not an easy decision.”

Meet Hyokyoung Lee and Hope Kemp-Hanson

Inspired by the idea for garments to transmit data, the win will now allow Hyokyoung to further develop her idea.

“Winning the Woolmark Performance Challenge has made me realise that as a designer I can be part of innovations that can be helpful for the world,” she said. “The best part of participating in the challenge is that you can learn about the most recent innovations in different fields - IT, science, fashion and textiles - which allow you to experience the power of human creativity and good will when people work together toward betterment of humanity.”


Hope turned to the South Korean skate movement for her design.

“It’s been such an amazing opportunity not just within pushing the innovation and learning of wool, but becoming a part of this group of people, an incredible, new design family,” said Hope. “I feel so honoured, humbled, and beyond appreciative to have been a part of this journey.”

With more than 1060 students registering from more than 115 educational institutions from 21 countries, the diverse range of applicants for the program’s second edition highlights the thirst students have for both education and innovation as they plan the early stages of their career. The 10 finalists for the 2019 adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge were:

Meet the 2019 Woolmark Performance Challenge finalists

Meet the 2019 Woolmark Performance Challenge finalists

“Despite its long history in apparel, the unique natural properties of Australian Merino wool positions it as a leading technical fibre in today’s sports and outdoor industry,” said The Woolmark Company General Manager, Processing Innovation & Education Extension and Woolmark Performance Challenge judge Julie Davies. “We saw that evidenced today with the incredible diversity of ideas presented by the finalists of this year’s Woolmark Performance Challenge. We are really encouraged by how the competition has grown over the past two years, which affirms our commitment to education and the potential for product developments with wool in new market areas.

“Registrations for the next edition of the competition are now open and we invite college students from across the world to apply.”