French designer Alicia Ferreira de Sousa wins Adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge prize

French designer Alicia Ferreira de Sousa is the winner of the first edition of the Adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge prize. The announcement was made during an event organised by the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Denver, Colorado. The Woolmark Performance Challenge is an international competition for graduate students whose objective is to push the envelope of textile innovation. Ferreira de Sousa is a student at the Ecole de la Maille, a specialist knitwear fashion school in Paris.

Alicia Ferreira de Sousa - DR

"My main goal was to create a fabric that connects with the body and communicates with it. Merino wool is able to adapt to athletes' requirements in all circumstances, whatever the environment, to improve its performance," said Ferreira de Sousa. She wins a cash prize of €10,000 and a three-month internship at Adidas, with the chance to commercialise her winning concept with manufacturing support and mentorship by the Woolmark Company.

"I'm astonished at the number of incredible innovations that the students presented to us for this collaboration between Adidas and The Woolmark Company. We struggled to award the prize to one student alone. To pick a winner, we eventually chose the work which embodied the fundamental values of our founder Adi Dassler - "the best for athletes" - putting the properties of wool to the service of sport practitioners, to help boost their performance," said Adidas Senior Design Director of Apparel Running Tillmann Studrucker.

Over 500 students from 58 schools and universities in Europe and North America took part in the competition's first edition. Applications for the next edition are already open.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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