Backstage at a show in Paris, British menswear designer Grace Wales Bonner said she wasn’t interested in rumors circulating in the French capital.
The 31-year-old of mixed race is said to be the frontrunner to take over Louis Vuitton, one of the world’s biggest fashion brands, becoming one of its youngest creative directors.
“I’m really focused on Wales Bonner,” she said of her label when pressed about her future. “For me, it still has a long way to go.”
Rumors are valid. Not many designers can ask Pulitzer Prize-winning musician Kendrick Lamar, Turner Prize-winning artist Rubaina Himid and the Jamaican national football team to create their collections. And even fewer could drop their name on a song Lamar wrote specifically for the show.
In the bustling, golden charm of Hotel D’Evreux, Welsh Bonner was cool and to the point. They are the artistic visionaries of our time and I wanted this collection to be about that,” she said.
Her show included a silk tunic hand-painted by Himid. “It’s really a collaboration,” Wales Bonner said.
With just 32 models on the catwalk (many shows can feature double that), how menswear has transitioned from the black African diaspora to Paris Fashion Week and the wider world. I challenged the concept of what is possible.
This is a common theme in Welsh Bonner’s work. She was born in South London. Her father was the youngest of the family from Jamaica. The Windrush generation and this legacy have always influenced her work. With this collection, we also wanted to pay tribute to black icons who found their creative freedom in Paris, such as author James Baldwin and dancer, singer and actor Josephine Baker.
Despite class and racial connotations, Welsh Bonner doesn’t see much difference between a silk Savile Row suit and a football kit. “I see everything in her one world. I’m interested in hybrids,” she said.
Wales Bonner used the show to unveil home and away kits for the Jamaican team. Wales Bonner was once a long-distance runner, but instead of showing them off at the end, these clothes were scattered throughout the collection. tops and Adidas sneakers (Wales Bonner, which partners with the sports brand, declined to comment on the parody demo, which will take place on Monday in Berlin).
Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2014, launching her brand in 2015, and winning the 2016 LVMH Fashion Award (an Oscar for rising stardom in fashion), Wales Bonner has been developing her collections. has been used as a method as well as to connect black theory and history. and fashion, but pushing them into the mainstream. She also uses non-white models almost exclusively in her shows.
Wales Bonner focuses on menswear, but the show had some women’s pieces. Layered tassel skirt and tweed dress. The Duchess of Sussex wore her white trench dress when Prince Harry and Meghan introduced her son Archie to the press.
In 2019, a PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that only 10% of fashion brands are owned by women, and only a handful of those are non-white. Even fewer have their own name labels. Another of them, her much-hyped 30-year-old Bianca Saunders, will also be screened in Paris on Wednesday morning.
Wales Bonner or not Heading to major brands like Louis Vuitton — the brand has a show on Thursday, so an announcement is expected soon — that these women not only exhibited at Paris Fashion Week, but won it. is no small feat.