News-Releases Index | Woolrich®
Inaugural adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge winner announced (11/12/18)
Alicia Ferreira de Sousa from L’École de la Maille de Paris was today announced the winner of the
inaugural adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge, presented at a special event during Outdoor
Retailer, Denver, Colorado. The Woolmark Performance Challenge is a new annual competition for
tertiary students aimed at pushing the limits of product innovation and is set to kick-start the career
The award was judged by a highly esteemed panel of judges, including Amanda Parkes, Chief
Innovation Officer, Fashion Tech Lab; Christopher Bevans - Creative Director & Owner, Dyne; Jamie
Lisanti - Special Projects Editor, Sports Illustrated; Julie Davies - General Manager, Processing
Innovation & Education Extension, The Woolmark Company; Kristin Hostetter - Editor in Chief,
SNEWS; Louis de Vos - Talent Acquisition Manager, adidas; and Tillmann Studrucker - Senior Design
Alicia was praised by judges for her entry.
“As an aerobic gymnast, Alicia brought her knowledge of the body’s movement and combined it with
science to highlight the functionality and benefits of Australian Merino wool’s properties. She found
a way to bring this together with a unique and technical innovation, that is applicable to many
sports,” explained Jamie Lisanti, Sports Illustrated.
Fellow judge Tillmann Studrucker commented, “It is incredible how many great innovations we saw
from students in this open collaboration between adidas and The Woolmark Company. It was not
easy to nominate the final winner. In the end, we went for the person who shared the number one
principle of our founder Adi Dassler - ‘only the best for the athlete’ - helping them to perform better
in their sport using the benefits of wool. I want to thank everyone involved in making this
competition a success and for giving these students a platform to show their talent.”
“Winning the Woolmark Performance Challenge marks the beginning of an aspiration coming true: a
sportswear specialization to engage my own wellbeing and confidence in sports performance”, said
Alicia. “My main goal was to make a textile that connects and communicates with the body; and
Merino wool supports the wearer’s needs in any situation or environment to enhance performance.”
Alicia will now receive a cash prize of €10,000 (approx. $11,300 USD), a three-month internship
with adidas, the opportunity to sell the winning idea along with ongoing industry and training
support from The Woolmark Company.
More than 500 students from 58 universities across Europe and North America registered to take
part in the adidas x Woolmark Performance Challenge. The 10 finalists were:
• Alicia Ferreira de Sousa - L’École de la Maille de Paris - France
• Christel Thue Høgsted - University of Oregon - USA
• Inga Grether - Albstadt-Sigmaringen University - Germany
• Jeni Allison - Heriot Watt University - UK
• Lihong Lao - Cornell University, Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design - USA
• Marlies Reukers - Amsterdam Fashion Institute, HvA - Netherlands
• Martin Stricker - ECAL (École Cantonale d'art de Lausanne) - Switzerland
• Olivia Echols - University of Oregon - USA
• Phoebe Edwards - Nottingham Trent University - UK; and
• Youngmi Kim - Institut Français de la Mode - France.
“The rapid growth in demand for technical textiles has significantly boosted wool’s prominence in
the sportswear industry and the fiber’s naturally inherent qualities - such as effective odor control,
superb breathability and moisture management properties - cannot be matched by any man-made
fiber,” said The Woolmark Company Managing Director Stuart McCullough.
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