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Meet the Judges: The Woolmark Company TexSelect Award

10 September 2018 by Editor in Fashion, Features, Sponsors, Judges & Champions

Natasha Lenart of Victoria Beckham and Eda Karadogan of Ipekis are judging this year’s The Woolmark Company TexSelect Award.

It’s one of the highlights of the TexSelect calendar – the judging and presentation of The Woolmark Company TexSelect Award in Paris at Première Vision Designs. The Woolmark Company has supported TexSelect since the charity was founded more than 40 years ago, with the Award established in 2011. It recognises design excellence in fabrics created with 60% or more Merino wool, whether presented as printed, woven, knitted and/or mixed media fabric.

Eda Karadogan of Ipekis and Natasha Lenart of Victoria Beckham…

This year’s two judges are looking forward to exploring the work of the TexSelect designers. “This is such a wonderful opportunity to encounter young designers with boundless creativity that hasn’t yet been influenced by the day-to-day of the working industry,” says Natasha Lenart, who is fabric and knitwear development manager at Victoria Beckham.

Eda Karadogan from historic Turkish company Ipekis is equally enthused: “I am excited to be judging The Woolmark Company TexSelect Award. It’s such a good way to discover new talent and to support them.”

Eda, who studied textiles herself, has worked as a sales specialist for Ipekis since 2012. She’s thrilled to be supporting young designers, and will be looking closely for innovative use of Merino wool during the judging process.

Ipekis was founded way back in 1923 and makes exceptional luxury fabrics. Annual production now stands at 2.5 million metres, with 90% of sales made of pure wool, while the remaining 10% is made of natural fibres such as cashmere, cotton, bamboo, silk and linen.

Victoria Beckham, the former Spice Girls pop star turned fashion designer, has built an impressive reputation for sophisticated womenswear with her label, which was launched in 2008. Currently celebrating the tenth anniversary of her business, Beckham is the cover star of the October issue of British Vogue, so the brand is in every fashionista’s thoughts this autumn.

Natasha Lenart joined the company in 2012 when the fledgling fashion business was in full expansion mode, working on the new knitwear category that was introduced in 2013.

Victoria Beckham online…

Natasha studied at Ryerson University in Toronto before working her way as a womenswear designer to Los Angeles, New York, and, now London – perhaps drawn by the UK’s climate where knitwear can be really appreciated. She describes herself as “a purist at heart. I’m always fascinated by the manipulation of fibres and finishing techniques to create original fabrics and knits that challenge the nature of structure, hand, performance or texture.”

She loves travelling. “Travel is key. A trip to Première Vision Designs or visiting a mill archive is amazing. There’s always room for experimentation and listening to all ideas on how to approach a textile development at VVB. I love watching my team problem solve various solutions to fabrics that need to perform for a particular category and silhouette, within a price target and deadline.”

The winner of The Woolmark Company TexSelect Award will receive £1,000 plus ongoing support from The Woolmark Company and opportunities to learn about developments.

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TexSelect is a registered charity, entirely funded by the generous sponsorship of industry, by British charitable foundations, and by individuals connected to the industry. All believe wholeheartedly in supporting the next generation of textile design talent and in encouraging innovation and excellence.

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