Grace Wales Bonner has her own vision of fashion. It is considered and designed with heart, intelligence and substance.
Wales Bonner, hails from Dulwich a south-eastern London suburb. She paid close attention to the confluence of cultures within the affluent borough alongside the teetering neighbourhoods. She watched the community carefully took mental photographs and coincided this with exploring her own heritage whilst growing up.
Her parents came to the UK from Jamaica in the 1950’s. Taking the effort and time to learn, she found a natural enjoyment in exploring African and Afro-Caribbean history and postcolonial cultural theory. Today this has translated into accolades and award winning titles, not to mention iconic and unique ready to wear pieces.
Wales Bonner believed that her own mixed-heritage naturally steered her mind to think differently.
“I have had to work things out, things haven’t been told to me,” I have had to educate myself about my background so it’s always been something interesting to me, to make sense of things.” Wales Bonner
The cross section of cultures is in our opinion the birthplace of innovation. Wales Bonner and her approach to both luxury and high fashion has modern African and European influences. Her use of cowrie shells within her clothing is tied to African history, whereby they were once used as currency.
2014 saw Wales Bonner graduate from Central St Martins. Very quickly she picked up the ‘Emerging Menswear Designer’ award at the British Fashion Awards . 6 months post graduation, she showed her first menswear collection at Fashion East, a non-profit that designed to support up and coming designers as a launchpad for their careers.
“The distance of designing for men gives me the space to think in a different way, to project and to explore fantasies,”
2016 came and she picked up the LVMH Young Designer Prize judged by Phoebe Philo and Karl Lagerfeld, the following year.
Grace Wales Bonner is a profound rarity, her ability to think deeply and undertake extensive intelligent research is self evident in both her mens and womens wear designs.
View more from Wales Bonner here.