We are excited to reveal that 102 designers from 19 countries and regions around the world have been selected as the finalists for this year’s World of WearableArt Awards Show! 

From 30 September to 17 October this year, the capital city will host Aotearoa’s most spectacular theatrical stage production, showcasing the finalist entries from around the world, with an audience of over 60,000 people expected to attend.  

The finalist designers will vie for awards and prizes across three recurring sections – Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open – as well as three new sections – Architecture, Elizabethan Era and Monochromatic. 

WOW Founder and resident judge, Dame Suzie Moncrieff says, “I feel incredibly privileged to witness such amazing and inspiring creativity from our designers. The entries are of an exceptionally high standard once again and selecting award winners from such a strong group of finalists will not be an easy task for the judges. The skills, wide range of materials and techniques used in creating their work is breath-taking and I look forward to seeing the garments individually choreographed in all their glory on the WOW stage in September. Our audience can expect to be wowed!”  

WOW Competition Director Heather Palmer says, “despite the very obvious challenges of these times, WOW continues to connect with designers from every corner of the globe and we’ve seen this reflected in the extensive range of countries that we’ve received entries from again this year. I have been delighted to see our designers continue to push the boundaries of innovation and invention by creating works of art with extraordinary materials. The passion and determination shown by designers has been humbling, and makes us prouder than ever to be offering this unique creative platform for their works of wearable art to be seen.” 



The first round of judging took place between 9 and 11 July. This year’s judges include WOW Founder and resident judge, Dame Suzie Moncrieff, designer and co-founder of Zambesi, Elisabeth Findlay, and acclaimed New Zealand sculptor Jeff Thomson 

Alongside the main judging panel for 2021 is International Guest Judge, Academy Award-winning costume designer, Alexandra Byrne, The Residency Experience Award Judge, Swedish-born fashion activist and celebrity stylist, B Åkerlund and Weta Workshop Emerging Designer Award Judge, co-founder, CEO and Creative Director of Weta Workshop, Sir Richard Taylor. 

The finalist entries will go through two further stages of judging, where they are assessed on stage, before debuting on opening night of the WOW Awards Show on 30 September.  

Opening Night has some of the best availability left – get in quick to book your seats and be one of the first to experience the magic!


2021 WOW Awards Show | TSB Arena, Wellington
30 September – 17 October

Tickets are selling fast. Book today!


2021 Awards Show finalists:

Australia (7 finalist designers)

China (4 finalist designers)

France (1 finalist designer)

Hong Kong (2 finalist designers)

Hungary (1 finalist designer)

India (2 finalist designers)

Indonesia (1 finalist designer)

Italy (2 finalist designers)

Japan (1 finalist designer)

Netherlands (1 finalist designer)

New Zealand (58 finalist designers)

Poland (2 finalist designers)

Romania (1 finalist designer) 

Spain (1 finalist designer)

Taiwan (4 finalist designers)

Ukraine (1 finalist designer)

United Kingdom (2 finalist designers)

United States (10 finalist designers)

Vietnam (1 finalist designer)