Grace Wales Bonner: Black Male Identity
Grace Wales Bonner, a true gifted designer who has become known for collections that explore black culture and identity, has won the LVMH 2016 prize for emerging talent. Last November she already won the Best Emerging Designer prize at The British Fashion Awards… and she is only 25 years old!
She will receive a grant of 300,000 euros, plus a year of coaching and mentorship from LVMH executives, the French luxury group announced Thursday at a ceremony at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.
Jury included Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Phoebe Philo and Jonathan Anderson. Grace Wales Bonner was awarded the gold-star prize by actress Léa Seydoux.
Grace Wales Bonner who is a true Londoner, half British and half Jamaican, presented her Spring 2017 collection at London Collections Men few days ago. Reviews were ecstatic. The clothes were inspired by the 1930 crowning of Haile Selassie as emperor of Ethiopia, and by traditional ceremonial dress used to push the boundaries of contemporary tailoring. Her work generally refers to Western Africa to formal wear and Caribbean, with their embroidery, their details to hook their military decorations.
We could noticed that Grace Wales Bonner was a bit emotional and very surprised to win! “I wasn’t sure my interview went well, that I’d said the right thing, or that people could really see my work,” she confessed.
Wales Bonner’s particular European-African luxury hybrid resonated strongly with today’s crowd, particularly a leather jacket with an embroidered striped collar; a tan crocodile bag embellished with a major crystal, bead, and pearl tassel was in heavy rotation, too.
“Every edition is so different, and the jury’s discussions about the candidates over lunch are passionate,” said Delphine Arnault, founder of the LVMH Prize and COO of Louis Vuitton. “Grace’s point of view is really unique and specific, and at the same time you can see her potential for growth. You can see in her menswear the place she could occupy in womenswear, and her work with embroidery was very compelling.”
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