British design trio Sibling has been announced as the winners of the European selection for the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize, during the award event held in Milan at Palazzo Crespi, within Milan Menswear fashion Week.

A judging panel including Angela Missoni, Godfrey Deeny, Tim Blanks, Susanne Botschen and Franca Sozzani selected the winner.

“The group of the nominees was of a very high level, and we struggled to make the decision," said Angela Missoni, who announced the name of the winner to the media and guests. "At the end, we decided for Sibling because they demonstrated to be the more complete and mature label, and their creative research, together with their knowledge of wool and knitwear, was the key factor.”

“The level of talent this year was remarkable. The jury was faced with a real challenge. But Sibling won because they created the perfect storm: stunning technique, a crazy level of creativity and a keen appreciation of wool’s endless potential” declared Tim Blanks after the announcement.

The three designers of Sibling, Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery expressed their reaction saying they were surprised and honoured to receive the award from a jury of such a calibre. "We wanted to create our own special synthesis, reinventing wool by matching a hand-crochet jacket made with a yarn we created ourselves involving Scottish long-time expert wool yarn manufacturers, and matching it with a machine knitted bodysuit employing innovative points and patterns ," commented the designers. “Apart from the cash prize, it’s the prestige of being associated to Woolmark that makes us happy, and the fact that, with the final event being held during Milan Fashion Week in February 2014, we will have the opportunity to approach the Italian market and reach a global exposure. Winning the Woolmark European award is recognition of our passion for Merino wool.

Chosen from 10 promising talents hailing from all over Europe (Gabriele Colangelo, Sara Coleman, Norwegian Rain, Piece d’Anarchive, Tabernacle Twins, David Tomaszewski, Jan Jan Van Essche, Mattijs Van Bergen, and Hana Zarubova; each of which presented sketches of their six-item capsule collection in merino wool) the winners gain a financial contribution of $50,000 AUD, plus the opportunity to compete in the international competition, representing Europe during the grand final event, taking place in Milan in February 2014.

For the next six months the designers are required to develop a capsule collection in Merino wool to be showcased during an extraordinary event alongside five other finalists that have been selected from across the globe. These designers will compete for the final international prize of $100,000 AUD and the opportunity to be stocked in the most important retailers in the world including Harvey Nichols - London, Saks Fifth Avenue - NY, 10 Corso Como – Milan, Joyce – China, David Jones – Sydney and My Theresa – Germany, and online.

Rob Langtry, Chief Marketing of The Woolmark Company explained, “The International Woolmark Prize is our commitment to educating the next generation of fashion industry leaders about the extraordinary potential of wool. We hope the inherent properties of wool will stimulate the designers’ creative thinking, so they encompass both intrinsic and extrinsic innovations to their collections. We wish all the designers participating in the prize this year the best and we look forward to establishing an ongoing partnership with each of them, the industry leaders of the future.”