Announced yesterday, UK-based, African-inspired designer Grace Wales Bonner is the 2016 recipient of the esteemed LVMH Prize, which recognises young industry talent.
The designer will receive €300,000 bursary as well as a year’s worth of support and mentorship from LVMH executives, having beaten seven other candidates for the title of winner, and being selected by a panel that includes Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquière, Phoebe Philo and Marc Jacobs (who’s just announced Missy Elliott as his Autumn/Winter’16 muse).
WATCH: SCENES FROM GRACE WALES BONNER’S SOLO EXHIBITION AT THE V&A
The 25-year-old menswear designer was awarded during a ceremony at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, and wrote on her Instagram page;
“Thank you to my team who have done it for the love from day one. You know who you are. Feel proud #lvmhprize“
Grace has been on Team SPICE’s radar (and everyone else’s) since her graduate “Afrique” collection, which earned her the 2014 L’Oreal Professional Talent Award. Her Autumn/Winter’15 collection, “Ebonics” went on to secure her a solo exhibition at the V&A, as part of its Fashion in Motion programme, and she has wowed the industry with her creative collaborations, including a short film with Harley Weir and Julia Sarr Jamois, which investigated the tradition of Senegalese wrestling.
Ms Bonner explore Afrofuturism, blackness and masculinity with her ’70s-nuanced designs – the combination resulting in retro-fused fashion that scream black empowerment, with the designer telling Vogue Paris yesterday;
“My work is about hybridity, about allowing different languages and cultures to speak in the same conversation.”
With this new funding and support, we at SPICE can’t wait to see what’s next from the talent – but for now, we congratulate Grace Wales Bonner on her win at the 2016 LVMH Prize and suggest you follow her online here to watch her journey.
Image source: @Walesbonner, @VogueParis