Meet the new knitwear talent making outstanding mohair designs

At WGSN we love discovering new talent, so earlier this month our materials and textiles team headed to the 1st year of the International Mohair Fashion Design Competition, to be part of a judging panel.

The event was held at Donghua University in Shanghai, China. It was hosted by Mohair South Africa, a non-profit organisation promoting and marketing South Africa’s mohair industry, who teamed up with and sponsored university fashion students from around the globe to raise awareness of the sustainable fibre within fashion.

Set with the task to explore the character and properties of mohair in their work, the designers put their creativity to use.

Here’s our pick of the stand-out mohair fashion trend pieces and new designers to watch:

1. Donghua university graduate Jianglin’s melange knitwear with a denim influence, combined a delicate application of space-dyed and eyelash yarns with bold, oversized proportions for an easy slouchy silhouette, which won the Best Knitwear prize.

Jianglin, Donghua university

Hand applied cables and loose cuff tapes were an interesting, contemporary touch.

2. Nautical meets urban in Lu Zheng’s tailored piece, which earned the designer ‘Best in worsted’ category.

Lu Zheng, Donghua University

The fellow Donghua graduate expressed dishevelled masculinity, working into woven uniform surfaces with exposed yarn floats and fringing for a shredded and distressed effect. Free-hand and messy from afar, a close-up of the garment reveals technical knowledge and control.

3. Kanae Obara, from Bunka Fashion College in Japan, employed hand-worked intarsia techniques to construct an abstract rendition of a face.

Kanae Obara, Bunka Fashion College


I loved the magnified scale of the graphic tongue-in-cheek collage, it was youthful and playful but also showed Kanae’s commercial sensibility.

4. Last but definitely not least, I was impressed with Naomi Moore’s knit engineering skills and the bold choice of colours.

Naomi Moore, Nottingham Trent University

With varied techniques, the Nottingham Trent University graduate created a highly spirited mix-and-match of graphic checks with an off-beat and urban aplomb, which stood out with confidence.

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Want more? Check out WGSN’s fashion glossary: Your how to be a knitwear designer edition here.

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