Young menswear designer Grace Wales Bonner wins the prestigious LVMH Prize in its third year, receiving a yearlong mentorship and €300,000 prize money to take her brand to the next level.
Grace Wales Bonner, the 25-year-old menswear designer, will be celebrating for days to come after winning the coveted LVMH Prize earlier this week. Topping the competition in its third year, Bonner beat out seven other finalists to take home the €300,000 prize money as well as the yearlong mentoring scheme from LVMH executives.
The winner was selected by a prestigious voting panel which included Jonathan Anderson, Nicolas Ghesquire, Marc Jacobs, Karl Largerfeld and Riccardo Tisci. “Grace Wales Bonner of Wales Bonner impressed the jury with her soulful work on refined shapes, creating hybrid forms that marry European and African style. I congratulate her for this outstanding achievement,” says Delphine Arnault, director and executive vice president of Louis Vuitton. Bonner is the first independent female to be awarded the prize.
Her brand, Wales Bonner, was established two years ago and is a bold mix of masculine tailoring, feminine details and African craft techniques. She is recognised for pushing the boundaries and conventions of European menswear with her elegant cuts and explorative fabrics. Bonner is an alumna of both Central Saint Martins and the Lulu Kennedy initiative Fashion East. Last year, she received the Emerging Fashion Designer award at the British Fashion Awards. Last week, she showed in London Collections: Men with a collection inspired by the Emperor of Ethiopia, which was met with much acclaim. Her earlier collection for SS16 interpreted the tale of Malik Ambar, who was an Ethiopian slave who became the ruler of India. With the backing of the LVMH team and the substantial funding, we cannot wait to see how her brand develops, how her visions widen and how much further her collections will challenge menswear conventions.