Calling all adventurous designers and lovers of otherworldly fashion! Entries are now open for the 2024 World of WearableArt (WOW) Competition. With six individual themes, also known as “worlds”, you are invited to share your concepts and skills in a competition unlike any other. It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional designer, jewellery maker, or even an engineer or gardener. What matters is having a strong creating concept and a commitment to robust, quality execution.
WOW is the world’s leading wearable art competition, inviting designers and creators from around the globe to challenge the conventional, create the unimaginable, defy creative expectations and enchant the world with an extraordinary garment.
Held in Te Whanganui-a-Tara in Wellington, New Zealand, finalists’ works of art have been coming to life in the spectacular annual WOW show for over 35 years. Attracting audiences of around 60,000 people, the designers often share a common value – the desire to push the limits of imagination and medium.
To see their vision come to life on stage through world class performance at the World of Wearableart Show is incredibly rewarding and often emotional for WOW designers. The creative team and models pour immense passion and care into understanding the garments, their inspiration, and stories.
WOW was born from the idea of taking art off the wall and onto the moving body, and we see that year after year in the entries – both in terms of the visually striking and the important storytelling. We can’t wait to see what comes through for 2024.Sarah Nathan, WOW Head of Competition
As well as a total prize pool of over $185,000 (NZD), the World of Wearableart Competition offers the chance to access a Designer Development Award for future artistic growth, or an exclusive internship with global design company, Wētā Workshop (Wellington, New Zealand).
WOW also provides wearable art creatives and designers a platform to experiment with new
techniques and technologies and build on professional portfolios of creative work.
When entering, designers become part of an international design community like no other and have the opportunity to have their work exhibited alongside other incredible designers and artists from around the world, to an emphatic audience of around 60,000 wearable art fans.
World of Wearableart is a unique competition and platform to showcase your creativity, while also connecting with hundreds of other like-minded individuals.
“We’ve just finished hosting more than 100 finalists from all over the world for the 2023 WOW Awards and we had such incredible feedback about their time here, connecting with like-minds who share their passion for wearable art and creativity.” explains Sarah Nathan, WOW Head of Competition.
The Competition is internationally renowned, and each year 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.
Six different worlds to consider
To inspire designers when entering, there are six section themes or ‘worlds’ to consider. This
includes three recurring sections: Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open, and three new sections:
Natural World, Geometric Abstraction, and Crazy Curiosities of the Creature Carnival that are unique to 2024.
For more details on each of the themes, click here.
Fundamental to the WOW Competition is the principle that anyone can enter, and anyone can win.
While entrees must be 18 or over, there are very little other limitations in regards to who can enter. Competition finalists are determined through a closed-judging process where the judges are presented with the garment name and inspiration; however, the designer’s details and background experience are not disclosed, allowing the work to be considered solely on its own merit.
Anything that is wearable art can find a place on the stage, as long as it is original, innovative, and beautifully made.
Read the full list of competition rules here.
How to enter
Interested designers can then begin their World of WearableArt journey right now by creating a WOW designer profile.
Deadlines: the international design community have until 1 March 2024 and New Zealand designers have until 1 May 2024 to complete their garments and online submission.
Be part of the World of WearableArt!
When you enter the WOW competition, you become part of an international design community like no other. You have the opportunity to have your work exhibited alongside other incredible designers and artists from around the world!
With the 2024 World of WearableArt Competition calling for creatives, we can’t wait to see who enters for the 2024 event.
WOW is a phenomenon. It inspires designers to be more creative; to be bold and brilliant!