INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE : USA Regional Awards
Zach Hilty/BFA.com

Fashion awards season is in full swing.

Fresh off of Monday's announcement of the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nominees, the International Woolmark Prize USA Regional Final winners were revealed on Tuesday evening in New York City. Christopher Bevans of DYNE and Zaid Affas as the menswear and womenswear winners, respectively, each taking home AU$70,000 and advancing to the international finals.

DYNE beat out fellow nominees Death to Tennis, Kenneth Ning, N-p-Elliot, and Palmiers Du Mal for the menswear prize. It's been a busy week for designer Bevans, who was also nominated for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. After working as design director for Nike’s urban apparel, collaborating with Kanye West, and holding design positions at Sean John, Billionaire Boys Club and Rocawear, Bevans launched the brand in 2014, with a focus on athleisure that has a wearable-tech element. For his Fall 2017 collection, several pieces from the brand include a chip with near-field communication technology, which allows the wearer to connect their Samsung devices to learn more about the garment, as well as connect their credit cards for easy, on-the-go payment. His winning, snowboard-inspired look for the Woolmark competition featured a chip that tells the wearer about the terrain for any planned upcoming athletic jaunts.

In the womenswear category, Zaid Affas bested Protagonist, Claudia Li, Andrea Jiapei Li and PH5 with a cool, laminated wool coat worn over a blended wool gown. The British designer is a graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins College Of Art And Design who launched the brand in 2014 after stints at PORTS1961 and Ralph Lauren. Now based in Los Angeles, Affas has already amassed a celebrity following, with the likes of Tracee Ellis Ross, Gigi Hadid, and Kylie Jenner wearing his garments.

Following Tuesday night's announcement, over the next six months, the winners will develop a six-piece capsule collection in Merino wool, to be showcased at International Woolmark Prize finals, alongside the other regional winners from around the globe. The ultimate winner of the the International Woolmark Prize, the winner will receive a further AU$200,000 to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection, as well as mentoring from industry experts.

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