A British Menswear Designer with Jamaican Roots

A British Menswear Designer with Jamaican Roots

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A British Menswear Designer with Jamaican Roots

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Name: Bianca Saunders

Age: 28

Hometown: London

Currently resides: At his family home in South London, with his parents and four of his six siblings.

claim to fame: Saunders is an emerging British menswear designer who collaborated with Gucci on a short film and won this year’s French Andamé Fashion Awards. Her namesake label has earned praise for its billowy shirting and ruched suiting Pants inspired by her Jamaican heritage. Her clothing has a “borderline feminine feel,” said Saunders, which she hopes “makes men feel sexy because I feel like it’s missing from fashion these days.”

bianca saunders Saunders started his own eponymous fashion label at the age of 24. (Adama Jaloh / The New York Times)

big break: Her fascination for fashion started at an early age. At age 8, she kept the sleepover where she and her friends made purses out of pillows. As an 18-year-old student at Kingston University London, she bought a ticket to the British Fashion Awards and created her own catwalk-ready dress for the event. At the age of 24, a few months after graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2017, she started the label Bianca Saunders.

Why men’s clothing? “When it comes to women’s clothing, I’ve always felt so consumed with beautiful images that I wish I had designed it,” she said. Menswear, on the other hand, “found it easier for me to find my own aesthetic and expand it beyond just work wear tailoring.”

latest project: In July, Saunders won the Andam Grand Prix; Past recipients have included Martin Margiela and Christophe Lemire. Although the prize includes a grant of 300,000 euros (about $352,000), he called the advice of Balenciaga chief executive Cédric Charbitt “really priceless”.

next thing: The capsule collection with British heritage brand Farah was announced this month. “It’s all about creating quality and a feeling that will make a younger man feel mature and an older man will look small, but appropriate,” she said.

gender lines: Although her brand is technically for men, Saunders wants consumers to see her collection as unisex. In fact, Saunders moonlights as his label’s fit model on occasion. “I’m tall and my arms are long enough,” she said. “So I try on a jacket and sometimes trousers because I want to know how someone will feel in it.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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