Big congratulations to Bianca Saunders for winning the 32:nd ANDAM Fashion Awards. The British menswear designer will also receive €300,000 and a year of coaching from Balenciaga’s CEO Cedric Charbit.

The ANDAM Fashion Awards is a joint venture between the French Ministry of Culture and the DEFI fashion organisation, established in 1989 by managing director Nathalie Dufour.

Charbit from Balenciaga, who was also one of the jurors, told Vogue that they wanted to approach the candidates with as much openness as possible regardless of their origin, genre, or the context, and when it came to the 20+ jury members to decide a winner, they evaluated the contestant’s charisma, current success, and whether or not they believed the brand could go far.

Saunders graduated from Kingston University, London with a BA in Fashion Design and now she is working her way up in Luxury Fashion through redefining menswear.

“My main aim for the brand was to create that balance. You get the really over-masculine guy and effeminate guy existing in the same world. Even the pieces can be seen as slightly more feminine. I think this is how I create the energy that brings something different, and more things to the men’s wear conversation,”

-Bianca Saunders to WWD

Saunders’ collections are breaking boundaries with an androgynous and gender-bending aesthetic much similar to the likes of JW Anderson, one of her biggest inspirations. Besides that, they also celebrate her own West Indian heritage and are inspired by the great black men in her life from her father to her grandfather.

Saunders says that she plans to use the award funding to elevate her eponymous brand and reinvest in the company’s infrastructure, growing the brand’s international presence and even hosting her first physical catwalk show at London fashion week in September.

She is powerful, she is ambitious, and she is greatly talented. The fashion industry is blessed to have her in their world. AND WE LOVE TO SEE IT!

Image Sources: GQ, Vogue, i-D & The Face