We are delighted to announce Grace Wales Bonner, Founder of WALES BONNER, as the winner of the 2023 BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund. The designer will receive a 12-month bespoke high-level business mentoring programme, pro-bono legal services from Sheridans and a cash prize of £100,000.
Adam Baidawi, Head of Editorial Content, British GQ & Deputy Global Editorial Director, GQ commented, “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 honoured Grace at GQ’s Global Creativity Awards earlier this year, and we’re proud to once again recognise, support and celebrate what she and her team are building.”
Grace Wales Bonner, Winner of the 2023 BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund commented “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..”
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council 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.”
This year’s shortlist included AGR, Bianca Saunders, Bleue Burnham and paria /FARZANEH who will have the opportunity to participate in a mentoring programme through the BFC’s Designer Initiatives team, with access to industry and business experts, and pro-bono legal services delivered by law firm Sheridans.
Chaired by Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council and Adam Baidawi, Head of Editorial Content, British GQ & Deputy Global Editorial Director, GQ, the panel was made up of industry experts including Damien Paul, Head of Menswear Buying, Matchesfashion.com; Laurent Malecaze, CEO, Dunhill; Leah Abbott, Stylist; Murray Clark, Senior Style Editor, GQ; Samuel Ross, 2019 Winner of the BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund and Founder, A-COLD-WALL*; Tan France, Fashion Designer, TV Personality and Author.
Previous winners 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).
The BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund is part of the BFC Foundation (Registered Charity Number: 1185152) which supports the future growth and success of the British fashion industry by focusing on three areas: Education, Grant-Giving & Business Mentoring and Institute of Positive Fashion.