Grace Wales Bonner is no stranger to awards. While studying at prestigious Central Saint Martins, her collection, Afrique, won the L’Oréal Professionnel Talent Award. She went on to win the Emerging Menswear Designer Award at the 2015 British Fashion Awards and scored the 2016 LVMH Prize worth €300,000 (about $335,300 USD). So we’re not surprised that Bonner won this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.
“Grace is a designer with a very clear point of view,” states Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue. “Her clothes are fully realized – you can immediately recognize a Wales Bonner silhouette and attitude, which is amazing for someone so young – and her work is like a form of art. Her influence extends far beyond fashion; not only does she have a growing ready-to-wear business, but what she’s already done for culture would be impressive in someone twice her age.”
The winner was decided by fashion industry heavyweights like Enninful, Erdem Moralioglu and Paul Price from Topshop. The accolade was well-deserved; Bonner’s designs are distinctive and boast intricate embellishments inspired by her Jamaican roots. Although she made a name for herself in the menswear category, she’s setting her sights on womenswear as well.
The designer told WWD, “The women’s wear has been successful and has had more visibility and we’re moving towards a place where both collections will be equal.”
Now that Bonner has collected the £200,000 (about $260,500 USD) prize and a mentorship, we’re excited to see how the young designer will continue to develop her brand and how her collections will continue to promote individuality and diversity.