Nicholas Daley, British Menswear Designer With “A Whimsical Twist”, Wins BFC/GQ Prize

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Nicholas Daley is experience a combine of feelings. The founder of the eponymous British label is “speechless”, “ecstatic” and “honoured” to have been declared as the winner of the 2022 BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund, which will come with a £150,000 money prize, 12 months of business enterprise mentoring and pro-bono legal providers. “In the globe of menswear, it is seriously just one of the prime awards out there,” he gushes via a Zoom connect with ahead of the awards ceremony in London tonight, and rattles off an outstanding listing of former winners which include Craig Green, Samuel Ross of A-Cold-Wall and Priya Ahluwalia.

Born to Scottish and Jamaican moms and dads, Daley is among the a technology of emerging designers with multicultural backgrounds who are redefining and reimagining British manner amid the UK’s write-up-lockdown economic worries. With menswear items that are increasingly worn by gals, he is also embracing a change in the mainstream perceptions of masculinity and femininity.

However, the London-primarily based label’s growth has not been without the need of troubles. To maintain up, Daley has been compelled to make some significant conclusions, such as moving 40 for each cent of his production out of the United kingdom ​​— the moment core to his label. And in its place of investing in common (but costly) promoting channels these kinds of as social media advertisements or runway reveals, he is opting for in-particular person activations that join with his group, and collaborations the place he says he can understand new competencies.

The judging panel seemed for “strong craftsmanship” and “a dedication to imaginative, liable small business practice”, British Fashion Council (BFC) main executive Caroline Rush tells Vogue Business enterprise. “This award is for forward-considering designers who are rethinking the part of manner inside the world-wide cultural sphere.” Nicholas Daley ticked all the bins, she states. “His attention to depth and continued emphasis on neighborhood, craftsmanship and tradition is what really sets him apart. Owning put himself at the centre of London culture, discovering the interaction of trend, tunes and artwork, Daley is a breath of fresh air and we are enthusiastic to see what he proceeds to reach in the future.”

Even though Daley beat finalists like upcycled clothing brand name Clothsurgeon, eco-concentrated streetwear label LYPH and multiculturally-motivated brand Olubiyi Thomas, it’s not his to start with time applying for the fund — he was also in the managing in 2021. Designers just about every have 20 minutes to express their a few-12 months programs to the judges, like how the prize revenue would be made use of and areas of chance and advancement. Pitching deal with-to-facial area this yr aided him to cinch the prize, Daley believes, simply because the unflashy aspects and complexity of his materials demands an in-individual appreciation: “It’s pretty tough to articulate every little thing about Zoom. Acquiring that bodily conversation helped me to make a more robust impression.”

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