When you think of high fashion names, Balenciaga, Off White, Versace, and Prada come to mind. They’ve dominated globally and have become household names, not to mention Prada is the “It Child” of today, especially with gen z. It is said that London is powerhouse for design talent, yet none predicted the rise of a female led, fully independent luxury brand working and competing alongside longtime industry professionals with her sights on the African diaspora. Grace Wales Bonner is living her best 32-year-old life these days. The fashion powerhouse, boasts her start in menswear and now carries womenswear, accessories and jewelry in conjunction with her longtime partnership with Adidas. Its an understatement to say the explosion of the Adidas Samba on Tik Tok led us down the Wales Bonner rabbit hole, thanks Adidas! How did this petite girl from London make a name for herself in less than 10 years and rock more than the fashion industry on its heels? Let’s find out.
What sets Wales Bonner apart from other brands is her attention to narrative and identity. At the core of any person going through an identity crisis, it’s only natural to seek out the different aspects of yourself and figure out how it all plays together. Bonner is British-Jamaican raised between divorced parents who provided her with two very different perspectives on life. Her mom is a white British business consultant from an affluent community while her Jamaican father is a lawyer living in southeast London, one of the cities most racially diverse communities. It’s this perspective that unintentionally influenced the main theme of all her work for her final year in college. She has always been intrigued by the black male identity. Her collection was an infusion of black excellence, masculinity and European tradition. It was this basis that has further influenced all collections.
- ss23 Collection:
Alessandro de Medici
She has the power to dive into the underbelly of forgotten black history and reimagine it all. Medici was the first Black head of state, which seems like a feat so why aren't we taught about him? History loves to override a POC story. ss23 was historic for not only being the first runway show held in almost two years for the brand, but also its location, The Palazzo was graced with its first catwalk in its 577-year old history.
- ss22 Collection:
The Club has a special place for all things jazz so its no surprise that this collection's name alone has sparked our interest. The primary focus is West Africa in the 60's-70s with hints of jazz of the same time sprinkled throughout. Proflific names such as Sanlé Sory, Malick Sidibe serve as inspirations.