Grace Wales Bonner has been awarded the esteemed BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund, presented by the British Fashion Council Foundation. The fund, dedicated to honouring exceptional talent and creativity, aims to empower businesses by providing tailored high-level business mentoring and professional services.
Ms. Wales Bonner triumphed over a competitive shortlist of designers, including Bianca Saunders, AGR, Bleue Burnham, and paria/FARZANEH, showcasing her prowess in modern menswear collections. As part of her well accolade, she will benefit from a bespoke 12-month high-level business mentoring program, pro-bono legal services from Sheridans, and a cash prize of 100,000 pounds.
Expressing her gratitude, Wales Bonner stated, "I am very grateful to have been awarded the BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund. It is a great affirmation for myself and my team as we continue on our journey. Receiving this kind of support is very meaningful to us as an independent brand. As ever, I would like to say a special thank you to all of our supporters and collaborators."
The panel responsible for selecting the winner was chaired by Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council, and Adam Baidawi, Head of Editorial Content at British GQ & Deputy Global Editorial Director at GQ. Comprising industry experts, the panel included Damien Paul, Head of Menswear Buying at Matchesfashion.com; Laurent Malecaze, CEO of Dunhill; Leah Abbott, Stylist; Murray Clark, Senior Style Editor at GQ; Samuel Ross, Founder of A-COLD-WALL* and 2019 Winner of the BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund; and Tan France, Fashion Designer, TV Personality, and Author.
Caroline Rush CBE commented: "We are delighted to announce the brilliant Grace as this year's winner of the BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund. Her 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, exploring music with Kendrick Lamar, art with Lubaina Himid, and sportswear with Adidas, demonstrating the brand's clear ability to resonate with consumers and achieve commercial success."
GQ's Adam Baidawi said:"It is an honour to present this year's BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund to Grace Wales Bonner, an electrifying talent with a razor-sharp vision. Grace 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. We honored Grace at GQ's Global Creativity Awards earlier this year, and we're proud to once again recognize, support, and celebrate what she and her team are building."
Past recipients of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund include Nicholas Daley (2022), Ahluwalia (2021), A-COLD-WALL* (2019), Craig Green (2016), E Tautz (2015), and Christopher Shannon (2014).