Barve, Bounipun Win Woolmark Prize for India, Pakistan and Middle East

MUMBAI — India’s Nachiket Barve was revealed as the finalist for the India, Pakistan and Middle East awards for women’s wear at an event here Friday. Bounipun, also from India, was revealed as the finalist in the men’s wear segment.

They were among 15 designers shortlisted for the region for the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize, with 11 in the women’s wear category and four for men’s wear. The others in this round were Sahil Kochhar and Eka from India; Bouguessa, Bint Thani and Reem Al Kanhal from the Middle East; Bashar Assaf and Mira Hayek from Lebanon, and Saira Shakira, Zonia and Republic Womenswear from Pakistan.

The men’s wear designers included Bounipun from India, House of Arsalan Iqbal from Pakistan and Emperor 1688 and Mashael Alrajhi from the Middle East.

Bounipun is the label of designer Zubair Kirmani.

“This time you can really feel the buzz. The concept of working with wool is being much better understood now,” said Arti Gudal, country manager of The Woolmark Co. for India, noting that it was the same for the award process where the story and commercialization both were being seen as important parameters in design.

The award function for the region is to be held in India and Dubai alternately.

The official nominating bodies for the designers in India, Pakistan and the Middle East include IMG Reliance (India), Pakistan Fashion Design Council (Pakistan), Dubai Design and Fashion Council (Dubai) and Tala Starch Foundation (Lebanon).

The designers from this region will be part of the total of 80 designers shortlisted from 62 countries. The six men’s wear finalists will meet in London in January and the six women’s wear finalists will meet in Paris in March.

The finalists from Asia revealed earlier this week include brands Tonton from Indonesia for women’s wear and Munn from South Korea for men’s wear; Australian brands Macgraw and Exinfinitas for the Australia and New Zealand region; Faustine Steinmetz and Cottweiler for the British Isles regional, and Danish label Tonsure and German designer Tim Labenda for Europe.

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