Over the past 31 years The Australian Wool Fashion Awards has become one of the major Wool Industry promotional events in Australia. Started in the early 80’s, the event was designed to promote wool in all its many aspects but with particular emphasis on its developing role in the international fashion world.
The Awards started as a small local fashion parade in 1981 but soon grew to importance, they are now acknowledged as one of Australia's major wool fashion design events. Each year some 400 entrants from all over Australia, and in more recent years New Zealand, UK, USA, Dubai, compete for prizes worth over $58,000. Extensive media publicity surrounds this prestigious showcase event.
The Wool Fashion Awards now receive strong support from both the fashion and textile industry. Judges have included many notable fashion personalities such as Stephen Galloway, Jill Fitzsimon, Christopher Essex, Alexander Perry, Prue Acton, Kerry McGee, Wendy Heather, George Gross, Harry Watt, Simon Locke, Deborah Hutton, Anthony Leigh -Dower, Joh Bailey, Jonathon Ward, Lynn Cook, Angela Belle - McSweeney, Susan Nurmsa, Penny Thompson, Lady Sonia McMahon, Charlotte Smith and Jill Roberts.
In July 1993 a collection of TAWFA garments were shown at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo and in April 2005 sixty garments where shown to a large audience at the Opening Dinner of the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Hobart Tasmania .
The 2010 Australian Wool Fashion Awards were presented sixty five times in Sydney at the Royal Easter Show.
The Awards Presentation Night was also held at Petersons Guesthouse & Winery, Armidale . Garments have also travelled to many Shows and Field Days around Australia.
THE AUSTRALIAN WOOL FASHION AWARDS PROFILE
The Australian Wool Fashion Awards has become a major Wool Industry event. Sponsored by Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI) the Awards are designed to showcase the use of Merino wool by national and international fashion designers and students.
The competition’s main aim is to educate and encourage young designers in the wonderful qualities of wool. Secondary school students through to tertiary fashion students are enticed to use the many versatile wool and wool blend fabrics to create their entries. The rewards include significant cash prizes, gifts of work experience with leading Australian fashion designers and Scholarships to study at recognised Fashion Institutes. Many entrants have gone onto careers in fashion.
The Awards are not just for the young, entrants of all ages vie for the prizes and prestige of a win in the competition that many say is the hardest to win.