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World Of WearableArt™ Awards | Apply Now

The World of WearableArt (WOW) Awards Competition is a unique platform for designers to share and showcase creativity and inspiration, expand horizons through global connections to other creative companies, experiment with new techniques and technologies and build on professional portfolios of design work.

The competition is internationally renowned and attracts entries from over 40 countries each year. Anything that is wearable art can find a place on the stage, as long as it is original, innovative and well executed. Entries are now open for the 2019 World of WearableArt Awards; enter our world and see your work of art brought to life on stage for the whole world to see.

ABOUT 

Each year, World of WearableArt invites designers, artists and makers from around the world to realise the unimaginable and challenge the conventional as they create works of art that will be brought to life on stage at the annual World of WearableArt Awards Show. For the audience, it is a theatrical spectacular that is a feast for the eyes. For designers, it is an opportunity to make work free from commercial restrictions, to become part of an international design community and to have their talent recognised.

Designers come from the worlds of fashion, textile or industrial design, jewellery, architecture, engineering, sculpture and painting, or homemaking.  Some of them have been storing a creative idea in their brain for a long time, sometimes years; others use the annual creative challenges (sections) to spark a new vision. 

Today, over 30 years since the first World of WearableArt Awards Show took place, garments come from across the globe and are brought to life on stage in front of an audience of over 60,000 people. WOW offers not only prize money (a total prize pool of NZD187,500) but also profile and promotion of your work, networking opportunities, and access to exclusive internships and residencies. Whether you’re entering to progress yourself professionally or simply looking for a creative challenge, WOW is a wonderful platform to push the limits of your imagination and creativity.

“WOW is a phenomenon. It inspires designers to be more creative; to be bold and brilliant. And the designers, in turn, drive WOW to be more innovative, more extensive and, generally, just more of everything.” – Heather Palmer, Competition Director.Absinthium, R.R. Pascoe, Australia (2018 International Award: Australia & South Pacific Winner)Absinthium, R.R. Pascoe, Australia (2018 International Award: Australia & Pacific Winner)

ELIGIBILITY

The World of WearableArt Awards are open to anyone who is 18 years or over as at 29 March 2019.

CATEGORIES

Each year we ask designers to be inspired by one of the six worlds that will make up the World of WearableArt Awards. There are three recurring Sections; Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open and three Sections unique to 2019; Mythology, Transform and White.  You can find out more about the 2019 Sections here.

Mind the Synaptic Gap, Grace DuVal, United States (2018 Dame Suzie Moncrieff Award Winner)Mind the Synaptic Gap, Grace DuVal, United States (2018 Dame Suzie Moncrieff Award Winner)

BENEFITS

All finalist garments will be presented on stage as part of the 2019 World of WearableArt Awards Show in Wellington, New Zealand (26 September – 13 October 2019), in front of an audience of 60,000. All finalist designers are encouraged to attend the Awards Ceremony in New Zealand and to participate in designer events during Awards Week.  There are 34 Awards and a total prize pool of $187,500 (NZD) to be won as well as three exclusive designer opportunities: 

| Cirque du Soleil Invited Artisan Award (Montreal, Canada). The winner of this Award receives $5,000 (NZD) and will undertake a four-week residency at Cirque du Soleil in Montreal, Canada. Flights from anywhere in the world and accommodation are included. 

| Weta Workshop Emerging Designer Award (Wellington, New Zealand).  The winner of this Award will have the unique opportunity to complete an internship at Weta Workshop, and receives $6,000 (NZD), flights from anywhere in the world plus accommodation in Wellington for up to four weeks. 

| The Residency Experience Award (Los Angeles, United States).  The winner of this Award receives $5,000 (NZD) and the opportunity to show up to five pieces of their work at the exclusive Residency Experience showroom in Los Angeles for a three-month period, during which time their work will be given exposure through The Residency social channels. The winner will also receive a travel prize of $2,500 (NZD) to enable them to visit The Residency showroom in L.A. 

See the full list of Awards here.

Echoplex – Goddess of Reverb, Natalie Hutton, Australia (2018 Avant-garde Section Winner)Echoplex – Goddess of Reverb, Natalie Hutton, Australia (2018 Avant-garde Section Winner)

HOW TO APPLY

Anyone intending to enter must first register online here as a designer before following the online entry process, which consists of three steps. 

| Step 1: Intention to Enter is the first stage of this process and requires designers to record how many garments they are entering into which Sections.

| Step 2: Preselection is compulsory for all international entrants and requires designers to upload photographs of their completed garment/s for the judges to review. Please note drawings and sketches of garments will not be accepted. 
Following Preselection, all entrants will be notified by email of the judges’ decision and successful entrants will be invited to continue to

| Step 3: Submit & Complete Entry and send their garment to Nelson, New Zealand for the first official judging round.

Quantum, Annabelle Widmann, Spain (2018 Cirque du Soleil Invited Artisan Award Winner)Quantum, Annabelle Widmann, Spain (2018 Cirque du Soleil Invited Artisan Award Winner)

JUDGES

Each year, finalist garments are selected through three rounds of closed judging. The judging panel comprises of WOW Founder and Resident Judge, Dame Suzie Moncrieff, and two guest judges, from the worlds of art and fashion, who are invited to be part of the panel. The judging panel is also joined by Sir Richard Taylor, CEO & co-founder of Weta Workshop (New Zealand), B. Akerlund, co-founder of The Residency Experience (United States) and a judge from Cirque du Soleil (Canada). 
Find out more about the judging criteria here.

Eye See You Fluffy Kōwhai, Tina Hutchison-Thomas, NZ (2018 New Zealand Design Award Winner)Eye See You Fluffy Kōwhai, Tina Hutchison-Thomas, New Zealand (2018 New Zealand Design Award Winner)

DEADLINE

To enter the 2019 World of WearableArt Awards all international entrants (outside New Zealand)  must have completed Step 1: Intention to Enter and Step 2: Preselection by 29 March 2019. 

MORE INFORMATION

For more information please view the website here.  Or please email Kat Sprowell, Competition Manager at: kat@worldofwearableart.com