Welcome to World of WearableArt (WOW), the world’s leading wearable art competition that showcases finalist garments in a spectacular stage show held in Wellington, New Zealand attracting an audience of around 60,000 people.
For over thirty years, the World of WearableArt Awards Competition has invited designers from around the world and from all backgrounds to create the unimaginable, to challenge the conventional and defy creative expectations as they make works of art that will be brought to life at the WOW Awards Show. The Competition is a unique platform to share and showcase your creativity with the world.
Before you begin on your journey into the World of WearableArt Awards Competition, watch the video below to find out more about what it’s like to be part of the World of WearableArt community from some of the 2019 finalist designers!
The Competition is internationally renowned and attracts entries from over 40 countries. Whether you’re entering to design free from commercial restraint, to add to your student portfolio or to push the limits of your imagination, the World of WearableArt Awards Competition offers you a truly unique creative outlet.
Section themes for the 2022 Competition will be released on 9 August but if you want to get started on your work of wearable art before then, you can always think about creating something for the Avant-garde, Aotearoa or Open section. The next significant milestone after that is when the 2022 Competition officially opens on 2 October 2021 and designers can begin the online entry process.
Hear what four New Zealand award-winning designers recently had to say about entering the World of WearableArt Awards Competition including advice for first-time entrants.
The World of WearableArt Awards Competition is open to anyone over the age of 18, from anywhere around the world.
Designers enter from the worlds of fashion, textile or industrial design, jewellery, architecture, engineering, sculpture and painting or homemaking. We see designers realising creative ideas that they’ve had for a long time, sometimes years, and others use the section themes to spark a new vision.
Anything that is wearable art can find a place on the stage, as long as it is original, innovative and well executed.
Lady Ethereal, Dawn Mostow & Snow Winters, United States (2018)
As well as a total prize pool of over $185,000 (NZD), the Competition offers you the chance to experience exclusive residencies and internships with global creative companies, experiment with new techniques and technologies and build on professional portfolios of designer work.
When you enter the Competition you become part of an international design community and have the opportunity to have your work exhibited alongside designers and artists from around the world!
World of WearableArt is proud to profile and promote our design community and their breathtaking works of wearable art through our social channels, via national and international media outlets, and by organising exclusive exhibitions and photoshoots.
In 2021 there are 33 awards and prizes, including the coveted Supreme WOW Award.
Mind the Synaptic Gap, Grace DuVal, United States | Axminstress, Kate MacKenzie, New Zealand (2018)
2021 is a very exciting year for us as WOW returns and we once again offer a unique creative platform for designers from all over the world to push the boundaries of wearable art and design! And we are delighted to have an impressive line-up of local and international judges with us on this journey.
The judging panel is led by WOW Founder and Resident Judge, Dame Suzie Moncrieff, and this year she will be joined by acclaimed New Zealand sculptor, Jeff Thomson, and co-founder of renowned fashion brand Zambesi, Elisabeth Findlay.
Alongside the main judging panel for 2021 is The Residency Experience Award Judge, Swedish-born fashion activist and celebrity stylist, B Akerlund; and the Weta Workshop Emerging Designer Award Judge, co-founder, CEO and Creative Director of Weta Workshop, Sir Richard Taylor.
We are also thrilled to announce that Academy Award-winning Costume Designer, Alexandra Byrne is joining us this year to judge the Overall Winner of the International Design Award and will also be making a special (virtual) guest appearance during 2021 Designers’ Day programme.
Read more about each of our judges for 2021 here.