Grace Wales Bonner wins BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund
by Modem – Posted June 08 2023
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London-based designer Grace Wales Bonner won the 2023 British Fashion Council/GQ Designer Fashion Fund. She will receive a 12-month bespoke high-level business mentoring programme, pro-bono legal services from Sheridans and a cash prize of 100,000 pounds.

Previous winners include Nicholas Daley, Ahluwalia, A-Cold-Wall, and Craig Green.

Adam Baidawi, head of editorial content, British GQ & deputy global editorial director, GQ commented: "Grace is an electrifying talent with a razor-sharp vision. She is rearchitecting the very notion of what a luxury fashion house is, and who luxury is for. She is the total embodiment of modern creativity: ambitious, collaborative, and global."

Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the BFC, said "the brand stands out for having created a space for a cultural conversation that inspires future generations. Her intellectual approach to design has resulted in multiple collaborations across the creative space, demonstrating the brand’s clear ability to resonate with consumers and achieve commercial success."

This year’s shortlist included AGR, Bianca Saunders, Bleue Burnham and paria/Farzaneh who will have the opportunity to participate in a mentoring programme through the BFC’s Designer Initiatives team, with access to industry and business experts, and pro-bono legal services delivered by law firm Sheridans.

The judging panel included Damien Paul, head of menswear buying at; Laurent Malecaze, ceo of Dunhill; Samuel Ross, founder of A-Cold-Wall, and Tan France, the designer, TV personality and author.

Wales Bonner founded her label in 2014 after graduating from London’s Central Saint Martins. The label is informed by broad cultural research and embraces a multiplicity of perspectives. She was Pitti Uomo’s special guest designer last June. In 2015 she took home the prize for Emerging Menswear Designer at the Fashion Awards in London, while the following year she won the LVMH Young Designer Prize. She receive the CFDA International Men's Designer of the Year in 2021 and the was named the winner of the British Fashion Council's Independent British Brand award in 2022.

In 2019, Grace was invited by Maria Grazia Chiuri to collaborate with Dior to re-interpret the house's New Look silhouette for its Resort 2020 collection. In the same year, she curated an institutional exhibition, A Time for New Dreams, at Serpentine Galleries, London. Grace is Head of the Department of Fashion Design at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna.

Photo: Liz Johnson Artur

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