Growth happens when we step outside our comfort zones – and, for a select few up-and-coming designers, this challenge has been laid by the The International Woolmark Prize

Tasked to fashion a capsule of six looks out of Australian merino wool – with the financial aid of AU$70,000 and industry experts on speed dial – participants often face unchartered territory with a competition that opens new doors and opportunities to experiment on a new textile fibre.

First awarded to Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld in 1954, and taken home by Gabriela Hearst for the girls and Cottweiler for the boys last year, the lucrative award sees a panel of industry stalwarts exercise their imagination and, in turn, weigh in on the grand prize; this time around, Tim Blanks, Editor-at-Large at The Business of Fashion, Jefferson Hack, Founder of Dazed Media and Tiffany Hsu, Fashion Director of have spoken, narrowing down the final cut of European talent to four. Three of those – Edward CrutchleyNicholas Daley and favourite wunderkind of ours Daniel W. Fletcher are batting for Britain (#it’scominghome), and will join four finalists from Asia and four (which are to be announced) from America.

Due to be named in February, the winning menswear and womenswear collections will be awarded AU$200,000, invaluable mentorship, and will see their collections stocked in the likes of Harvey Nichols, and

Until then, we’ll be waiting on tenterhooks… Stay tuned!

In case you missed it, read our interview with Daniel W. Fletcher.