Calling all creatives! Entries are now open for the 2023 World of WearableArt (WOW) awards competition.

Each year, the internationally renowned competition attracts entries from more than 40 countries. Whether you’re entering to design free from commercial restraints, to add to your student portfolio or to push the limits of your imagination, the WOW Awards competition offers a truly unique creative outlet. 

The world’s leading wearable art competition, WOW brings the work of designers to life in the most extraordinary of ways each year in the Awards Show. The large-scale theatrical spectacle is held in Wellington, New Zealand, and attracts an audience of more than 60,000 people.  

“For me, the joy and energy of WearableArt is that it enables designers to see the body as a blank canvas on which they can develop any idea that appeals to them,” WOW Founder, Dame Suzie Moncrieff says. “The garments do not have to be commercially viable. They do not even have to take themselves seriously. The only thing they must be is wearable.”

For thirty-five years, the World of WearableArt has been a platform for designers from every corner of the globe, from all walks of life and backgrounds to fulfil their creative dreams, push boundaries and challenge themselves to create unique works of wearable art that will be brought to life in the WOW Awards Show.  

This competition is a unique platform to share and showcase your creativity with the world. 

2022 Supreme WOW Winner Kate MacKenzie, New Zealand | Photo courtesy of World of Wearableart

Who Can Enter WOW? 

The WOW Awards Competition is open to anyone over the age of 18, from anywhere around the world. 

Designers, creatives, and makers from all walks of life — fashion, textile or industrial designers, jewellers, architects, engineers, sculptors, painters, homemakers, gardeners, doctors, librarians, and more — enter WOW. All you need is a strong creative concept, well executed. 

Fundamental to the WOW Awards Competition is the principle that anyone can enter, and anyone can win. Competition finalists are determined through a closed-judging process where the judges are presented with the garment name, and the inspiration behind the work; however, the designer’s details and experience are not disclosed, allowing the work to be considered solely on its own merit. 

WOW is unlike any other experience I’ve had. It’s so open and friendly and welcoming,” Adam McAlavey, WOW Designer, United Kingdom says. “Everyone is here to celebrate each other’s designs and learn from each other. There are designers who have entered for 20 years, alongside first-timers, and yet everyone feels integrated and equally supported. It’s wonderful.”

Anything that is wearable art can find a place on the stage, as long as it is original, innovative, and beautifully made. 

For 2023 there are six section themes for designers to be inspired by when entering the Competition. This includes three recurring sections: Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open. Three new sections: Gold, Mars & Beyond and Bizarre Bra are unique to 2023. 

Why Enter WOW? 

As well as a total prize pool of over $185,000 (NZD), the competition offers the chance to access exclusive residencies and internships with global creative companies including Wētā Workshop in Wellington and the LA-based The Residency Experience, while giving designers scope to experiment with new techniques and technologies and build on professional portfolios of creative work.   

When you enter the competition, you become part of an international design community like no other and have the opportunity to have your work exhibited alongside other incredible designers and artists from around the world! 

The 2023 World of WearableArt Awards Competition is calling for creatives from now until 2 March 2023.

For more information go to the WOW website or begin your WOW journey now and create your WOW Designer Profile.

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The Last Fashion Bible is an interactive hub of fashion and lifestyle-related video content, featuring a mix of both international and local runway shows, editorials, interviews, how-tos and much more.

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