What is Wales Bonner?

A dive into Grace Wales Bonner's career, collabs with Adidas and more

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In an age where trends come and go faster than ever it is rare to find a brand that consistently builds its own visual identity with every collection, yet Grace Wales Bonner manages to do so with ease. Pulling from her Afro-Atlantic heritage coupled with a classic English touch, Wales Bonner breathes new life to U.K. classics like the tracksuit, elevating them to the status of high fashion. Pair it with immaculate tailoring, and you have yourself a brand that has been the vanguard of the new wave of contemporary luxury menswear.

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About Grace Wales Bonner

Grace Wales Bonner was born in south London to an English mother and Jamaican father, and was raised between her mother’s home in Dulwich and father’s in Stockwell after their separation. She studied fashion design at Central Saint Martin’s, and upon graduation in 2014 she won the L’Oreal Professionel Talent award for her BA collection titled “Afrique”. Following her graduation, she launched her eponymous label to widespread acclaim. 

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The awards only continued, being awarded Emerging Menswear Designer at the 2015 British Fashion Awards. In 2016, following her first runway show “Ezekiel”, Wales Bonner was awarded the LVMH Young Designer Prize. In 2019, she was announced as the winner of the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund. It goes without saying that Wales Bonner has no shortage of prestigious fashion awards, but Wales Bonner’s capabilities reign far beyond clothing. 

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In 2019, she presented her first institutional exhibition, “A Time For New Dreams”, at London’s Serpentine Galleries. The exhibition included work from a number of black artists, and featured words from Nigerian writer Ben Okri on the walls. The Serpentine Galleries’ artistic director, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, said "Grace is a fashion designer, but she’s also a thinker, a writer, an editor. She makes connections between different fields, from music to art" in a Vogue interview.

About the Brand

Wales Bonner’s clothing is immediately recognizable, with a timeless 1970’s inspired flair that inspires nostalgia for a time that never existed. Of course tracksuits never had ornate crochet stripes or perfect tailoring, but Wales Bonner conjures up a world in which they do. Juxtaposed with precise European conservative looks, Wales Bonner’s clothing is a personal look into the designer’s life and creates an open conversation about identity, masculinity, race, and ultimately, the meaning of luxury. 

Wales Bonner x Adidas

In a match made in heaven, Wales Bonner teamed up with Adidas in a collaborative collection in the fall of 2020. Wales Bonner brought her signature panache to the three stripes, creating elevated versions of icons like the samba and the Adidas tracksuit and making her design more accessible. Fortunately, the collaboration has continued season after season, with each release being more and more sought after as Wales Bonner rightfully builds steam. The most recent installment just recently arrived, and is available through online retailers.

It seems as though every day more people are hearing about Wales Bonner in the U.S., and we have no doubt that within the next few years she will become one of the largest voices in fashion.

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