Lagos Space Programme Wins 2023 International Woolmark Prize
Helmed by Adeju Thompson, the Nigerian brand beat eight global finalists to emerge winner.
Nigeria’s Lagos Space Programme is the recipient of this year’s International Woolmark Prize, held on May 15 at the Petit Palais in Paris. Founder of the genderless brand, 31-year-old Adeju Thompson took home the cash prize of $200,000 AUD (or $134,000 USD). Aside the sumptuous monetary win, stocking opportunities at top retailers and a business mentorship awaits.
Thompson clinched the prestigious prize from a pool of eight finalists, which included Paolina Russo (UK), Marco Rambaldi (Italy), Robyn Lynch (Ireland), Bluemarble (France), Maxxij (South Korea), and Rhude (U.S.). The designers were asked to design a Fall 2023 collection utilizing “the innate versatility, innovative nature and eco-credentials of merino wool.”
Judged by a seasoned panel which included Marni creative director Francesco Risso, Zegna’s artistic director Alessandro Satori, Alaïa’s creative director Pieter Mulier, footwear designer Salehe Bembury, photographer Tyler Mitchell, and Browns’ chief executive officer Elizabeth von der Goltz. The panel were impressed with Lagos Space Programme, crowning the Lagos-based brand as the winner for its beautiful craftwork and completeness.
Working in fashion for over five years, Thompson launched Lagos Space Programme in 2018. The brand’s non-binary aesthetic isn’t random. Their positioning of LSP is one that hopes to recapture and preserve the culture of Thompson’s Yoruba ancestors. From its most visual signature of indigo resist-dyeing (adire) to slow fashion informed by age-old craft traditions, LSP is at the forefront of rethinking African dressing in a contemporary age.The brand was shortlisted as a semi finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2021, another highly coveted prize in fashion. While Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize came close, becoming an International Woolmark Prize finalist in 2021, Thompson has sealed it as the first Nigerian winner. They join previous winners like Saul Nash, Matty Bovan, Rahul Mishra, Gabriela Hearst, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino Garavani, among others.
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