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MA Fashion Knitwear Design student shortlisted for Woolmark x Adidas Performance Challenge

Phoebe Edwards has reached the final of this inaugural global competition, aimed at the development of new sports and performance product applications by innovative tertiary students

Phoebe Edwards at the Mastered 2018 launch event
Phoebe at the Mastered 2018 opening event

A student on our MA Fashion Knitwear Design course has been named as a finalist in the inaugural Woolmark x Adidas Performance Challenge. Phoebe Edwards is one of just 10 finalists to go through to the final judging process for the award, established this year to seek out and support innovative young design talent from across the globe.

The competition provides an opportunity for tertiary students to develop innovative new product applications within the sports and performance market, by applying the science and natural performance benefits of Australian Merino wool. The award has been conceived by the Woolmark Company, the global authority on wool, in collaboration with Adidas, a global leader in the sporting goods industry.

It launched at the 2018 ISPO (Internationale Fachmesse für Sportartikel und Sportmode) in Munich, the world's largest trade fair for sportswear and other sporting goods. They received over 500 student registrations from 58 universities globally, making Phoebe’s achievement even more impressive.

Phoebe explained her collection and technique to us: “My SECOND SK:N collection is an extension of my BA collection, PASSIVE RESPONSIVE ULTRA SMART. My intention was to continue with performance-wear, but focus on specific areas of anatomical considerations to create clothing rather than swatches. The knit structure allocation and anatomical consideration technicalities progressed when I identified my womenswear ski-wear application, through extensive market research that highlighted a gap in the performance-wear market. My yarn inspiration stemmed again from my BA, due to my preliminary use of Celliant© and Merino Wool, but my MA intension was to explore the properties of these yarns in much deeper detail.”

Pieces from Phoebe Edwards' knitted sportswear collection
Pieces from Phoebe's collection SECOND SK:N. Merino wool sponsored by Biella yarns and Xiano and elastometric. Photo Rong Xue, MA Commercial Photography, 2018. Ski accessories provided by Two Seasons Nottingham.

On making the shortlist for the Woolmark x Adidas Performance Challenge, Phoebe told us: “When I opened the email, I cried! No smile on my face will ever show how over the moon I was, and still am! For me, this is such an amazing competition to be a finalist for, and provides me with the largest platform to enter the industry.”

She added: “I feel so proud of myself, as this MA has been the most challenging, yet the most rewarding thing that has happened to me. Being one of 10 finalists for this competition is overwhelming because it shows that hard work pays off, and I feel I put everything I had in to this year of study. No other university compares to NTU. The knit facilities, technicians and course leaders, pattern cutting tutorials, the advanced research module and our studio space; the list is endless!”

Sean Prince, Principle Lecturer for MA Fashion Knitwear Design, commented: “Recognising Phoebe’s skills, knowledge and abilities and the specific focus of her MA Project, we have discussed opportunities for PhD study, and Phoebe is very keen.”

Should Phoebe win the Woolmark x Adidas Performance Challenge, she will receive a significant prize of €10,000 for herself and further €10,000 for NTU, in addition to a three-month internship with Adidas, and the opportunity to present her product to a number of other leading brands.

Before she finds out whether she has won, Phoebe will travel to Shanghai to undertake an eight-week training programme in seamless knitting, as a successful recipient of the Santoni Pioneer Scholarship Program.

In September, the 10 finalists will travel to London for two days of training workshops with The Woolmark Company and partners, before travelling to Denver, Colorado, to present their entries to an executive judging panel at Outdoor Retailer. The inaugural winner will be announced in November.

Find out more about Phoebe and her work by visiting her website.

Published on 14 August 2018
  • Category: School of Art & Design