Grace Wales Bonner has been named the winner of the 2019 British Fashion Council (BFC)/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.
The London-based designer, who graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins in 2014 and has quickly gone on to build up a reputation for her tailored suits and minimalist aesthetic with her WALES BONNER label, scooped the prestigious prize at an event held in the British capital on Wednesday night (01May19).
Regarding Wales Bonner’s win, British Vogue editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, praised her talent and fashion-forward designs.
“Grace is a huge creative talent and her label WALES BONNER has a unique vision, which really relates to the now,” he said in a statement. “Her diverse perspective and boundary-breaking design is what we need more of within the industry. I look forward to seeing how this support propels her further.”
Established in 2008, the organisers of the Fund aim to discover new talent and accelerate the growth of a designer’s business over a 12-month period through mentoring and the awarding of a cash prize of £200,000 ($261,000).
Wales Bonner beat out fellow competitors A.W.A.K.E MODE, Alighieri, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, David Koma, Neous, and Rejina Pyo. However, all shortlisted designers will still receive a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s Business Support team, with access to funders and industry experts which this year included a roundtable hosted by Paul Smith.
Chaired by Enninful, the judging committee was made up of representatives from businesses who support the Fund and industry experts including BFC chief executive Caroline Rush.
“Congratulations to all the shortlisted designers and particularly Grace Wales Bonner on receiving this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund,” she commented. “Wales Bonner is one of the most promising creatives in the world of fashion right now. Her hard work and uncompromising vision have turned her label into an internationally acclaimed British brand and encouraged the rise of a new wave of young British creatives behind her. The judging panel was impressed by her exceptional talent for storytelling and craftsmanship and we look forward to seeing her grow.”
Previous winners of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto, Sophia Webster and Molly Goddard.
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