British-Jamaican menswear designer Bianca Saunders is making waves in the fashion world, while constantly drawing inspiration from aspects of her Jamaican heritage. His ‘Playwork’ Fall/Winter 2023 collection, which recently premiered at Paris Fashion Week (PFW), was inspired by Jamaican comedian Oliver Samuels’ hit ’90s show. olive tree in general. Yes, Oliver has arrived at ‘Paree’.
Twenty-four hours after a seemingly successful show attended by RnB crooner Usher, to say Saunders’ life is busy would be an understatement, but she graciously took the time to speak with The Sunday Gleaner. Standing in her Parisian hotel room, the braids pulled back into a bun, her prominent cheekbones rival those of the models parading on the catwalks. She exudes effortless chic while donning a killer silver layered chain with a simple black marina.
With a hairdresser mum from Kingston and a carpenter dad from St Mary’s, the 29-year-old from south-east London says she always wanted to be a designer and is grateful her parents have always supported and encouraged her craft.
Determined to explore her creative side and make a difference in the industry, she was encouraged to take up menswear by a tutor at school, where she says, once she tried it, she loved it. quickly realized that this was his calling.
Now she is part of an exclusive group of luxury menswear designers, including Grace Wales Bonner, Martine Rose (both of Jamaican descent) and Emily Adams Bode.
The Rock also inspired his previous collections, “Videolight” from Autumn/Winter 2020 and “Hard Food” from Spring/Summer 2023. Being born in the UK, Saunders is asked why it’s important to highlight the Jamaica through fashion. “My main cultural background is Jamaican. Every time I’ve been back to Jamaica, I feel so at home, and I think it’s important that this is shown not only in a musical context but also in fashion,” says “Also, in Paris. I feel like it’s a big deal and people should want to understand my stories and look for inspiration if they don’t easily know what it’s about.”
She shifts her gaze and, with a smile, says, “To be fair, everyone loves Jamaican culture anyway.” True, but she continues to successfully fuse culture into her passion for fashion in original ways. She humbly says, “It’s just a nice way to conceptualize the story in the context of fashion.
Having created a stellar reputation for its immaculate craftsmanship, Saunders’ “Playwork” display set was reminiscent of a olive tree in general stage. At the same time, she upped the style ante with playful shades and abstract images of olive tree in general on sweaters, t-shirts and sweatpants.
Saunders says his inspiration came from seeing one of Samuels’ plays in London and knowing that his significant other’s mother, Lovena Brown, used to star in olive tree in generalshe reached out to the comic icon to ask permission to use her as her muse.
Talk to The Sunday Gleaner, Samuels, while admitting he has yet to see the collection, was thrilled to have inspired it. “I’m so proud of her,” he said and, without skipping a comical beat, added, “I should speak in French.”
Samuels said: “I’m always very willing to give young people the opportunity to speak out, especially when it’s in a positive light, and she contacted me over a year ago and told me asked, and I didn’t even think it was serious. .” Saunders was very serious and delivered. “Wow. My God!” said Samuels.
Saunders, who loves ackee and saltfish, and counts the late Vivienne Westwood among her fashion designer inspirations, says she hasn’t been back to Jamaica since 2017 and misses it, especially in Ocho Rios. She would like to come soon, but the fashion world is calling her and she can’t deny that she loves it.
“I love my job so much,” she says, and I can tell she really means it. She lives in her purpose. “This morning I woke up and I was like, ‘Wow, I’m really living my dream.’ So I just try to enjoy it as much as possible because I don’t want to miss the moment and I want a long career in this field.
His hopes for the future? “So that the brand continues to grow and become a global name, and continues to inspire the younger generation.”
You have this, Bianca.