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The Spring issue of Dazed
The Spring issue of DazedPhotography Harley Weir, fashion Tom Guinness, creative direction Grace Wales Bonner

Grace Wales Bonner wins the LVMH Prize

Just days after her SS17 show, the designer is awarded €300,000 and a year-long mentorship

London-based designer Grace Wales Bonner has won the hotly-contested LVMH Prize – and become the first menswear designer to do so. A panel featuring Jonathan Anderson, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld selected her for the award – which comprises of €300,000 and a year-long mentorship – out of a shortlist that included Alyx, Brandon Maxwell, Vejas and Y/Project

Having graduated from Central Saint Martins’ BA Fashion programme in 2014, the British-Jamaican designer has experienced a meteoric rise to success, gaining attention for her gender-fluid collections that, rich in narrative, explore ideas surrounding black male sexuality and identity. 

It’s not the first prize that Bonner has laid her hands on – last year, she was awarded the British Fashion Council’s emerging menswear designer award. In winning the LVMH Prize, she joins London design duo Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida (2015’s winners) and Thomas Tait (2014’s).

In addition to Bonner, Toronto-based designer Vejas Kruszewski won the special jury prize – at 19, he was the youngest designer to ever be nominated for the award.

News of Bonner’s award comes just days after she staged her SS17 show at London Collections: Men. Looking to the story of the crowning of the Emperor of Ethiopia, the designer drew on a mix of Carribean, East and West African and European influences – a mix that translated to an elegant display of mohair suits, white starched shirting, crochet, crystals and cowrie shells.