“I perceive my work as that of a researcher”

At 29, British designer Grace Wales Bonner, who launched her menswear brand Wales Bonner in 2014, continues to intrigue and amaze the fashion world. Winner in July of one year of mentoring provided by Cédric Charbit, CEO of Balenciaga, under the aegis of Andam (association rewarding young fashion designers each year), in 2016 it won the prestigious LVMH prize for young designers and, a few months earlier, the emerging designer prize awarded by the British Fashion Council.

“My collections often start with a memory, a person who once existed or a character from a film or a book. “

Daughter of an Englishwoman and a Jamaican, Grace Wales Bonner graduated from Central Saint Martins School in London in 2014, and has since offered collections enriched with significant documentary research, highlighting the richness and diversity of black culture. Its sociological and historical approach, which encompasses questions of identity, multiculturalism or uprooting, feeds its elegant and sophisticated fashion.

Themed, its collections explore the British Lovers Rocks scene of the 1970s, this second generation of London Jamaicans passionate about soul and reggae (fall-winter 2020), the Kingston of the 1980s (spring-summer 2021) or the universe Jamaican intellectuals who came to study in London (fall-winter 2021).

His proposal for spring-summer 2022 was inspired by photographs of African nights in the 1960s and 1970s by Malian Malick Sidibé and Burkinabé Sanlé Sory. A fluid and elegant expression of the contemporary male wardrobe, which has been associated with feminine silhouettes since 2018, just as desirable.

How have you lived in recent months, between pandemic and successive confinements?

I am used to working from home. In a way, this period was ultimately quite positive for me because it allowed me to stay focused on what is important in my life and in my work. I experienced this as a time of saving reflection.

Did it impact your creativity?

I undoubtedly had the opportunity, by having more time, to do certain things more deeply, such as various documentary research to nourish my collections or to invest myself more in my relationship with my collaborators. I found it energizing!

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