Bianca Saunders’ eponymous fashion brand, steeped in inspiration from her British and Jamaican roots, has won international recognition since its inception in 2017. It was selected by the British Fashion Council as ‘One To Watch’ in 2018 and later won ‘The 32nd Andam Grand Prix Fashion Award’ in 2021.
Kingston and Royal College Of Art alumnus Bianca Saunders’ eponymous fashion brand, steeped in inspiration from her British and Jamaican roots, won international recognition right from its launch in 2017. Debuting in London Fashion Week, Men’s in June 2018, she made her mark at the speed for lightning and has been named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, nominated for LVMH Young Designer Award and scooped the prestigious French ANDAM Prize which includes €300,000, the opportunity to present her collections on the Paris catwalk and a year-long mentorship from Balenciaga CEO Cédric Charbit.
“I completed Masters in Menswear at the prestigious Royal College of Art… Previous to that, I graduated from Kingston University gave me a great foundation to being a fashion designer. I was taught pattern cutting, technical making and styling… I have always had drive and self motivation to try out different areas of fashion to find out exactly where I need to be and what I need to do to get there… so I am fully equipped now with a strong design development process which works well for me to carry me through to a fresh, fascinating and successful position in fashion,” she explains on her LinkedIn profile.
Bianca Saunders describes this as “borderline gender fluid”, clearly seen in her fluid pyjama suiting and her elevated take on sportswear and tailoring that turns tradition on its head by addressing the tension between tradition and modernity, between the masculine and the feminine, and the way she approaches design with a multi-disciplinary vision that brings cross-cultural references into evolved, modern menswear.
“There is no stopping her, the sky’s the limit,” British fashion designer Saul Nash, who has known Saunders since their days together at London’s Royal College of Art, tells GQ. “The way in which she combines her culture in a timeless and authentic way. As a Londoner of Caribbean heritage, I had never really seen it approached with such a modern outlook before.”
Saunders celebrates black culture and promotes equality, through her design aesthetic. The fashion designer has collaborated with a number of black creatives, from NYC-based photographer Joshua Woods and Jess Cole to filmmaker Akinola Davies. GQ’s Fashion Director and Editor of GQ Style, says, “I love Bianca’s unique approach, her vision of modern masculinity. I love that she draws inspiration from the men in her life and her Jamaican heritage. I find her work so fresh, especially because she challenges the idea of gender norms from a design perspective.”
To create a dialogue around contemporary masculinity, drawing inspiration from her West Indian heritage.
The brand is in an exciting period of growth following international recognition since its inception in 2017, being selected by the British Fashion Council as ‘One To Watch’ in 2018, featured in Forbes ’30 Under 30′ – Europe – Art and Culture in 2020 and won the 32nd Andam Grand Prix Fashion Award in 2021 by a panel that included Phoebe Philo and Kerby Jean-Raymond. Here, she received €300,000 and a year’s mentorship by Balenciaga CEO Cédric Charbit.