Cult fashion streetwear brand A-Cold-Wall* by designer Samuel Ross has
been named the 2019 winner of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund at a
cocktail reception at members club Annabel’s to close London Fashion Week
Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the British Fashion Council,
said in a statement: “The judging committee was impressed with the quality
of work, thought process and determination of the talented 2019 shortlist.
Each designer has a bright future ahead of them.
“There can only be one winner and Samuel proved to be the strongest
candidate with the most comprehensive business strategy and decisive plans
on how to use the fund to his best advantage to propel and cement
A-Cold-Wall* on the global stage.”
Ross scooped the coveted prize, which includes a 150,000 pounds cash
injection as well as 12 months high-level mentoring to accelerate his
business and growth and global reputation, ahead of a strong shortlisted
that included Cottweiler, Edward Crutchley, Liam Hodges and Wales Bonner.
The aim of the award, sponsored by JD.com, is to help accelerate
business growth and global reputation for a British-based emerging menswear
labels, and A-Cold-Wall* has stated on its website that its next phase will
be to invest in temporary and permanent locations globally with a “specific
and localised focus on experience”.
Samuel Ross of A-Cold-Wall* scoops BFC/GQ menswear prize
Dylan Jones, editor of British GQ and BFC Chair of Menswear added: “I
would like to congratulate Samuel Ross of A-Cold-Wall*. He demonstrated
intelligent design and business acumen during the judging process that
propelled him to top of the talent pool and it was a unanimous decision
from the judging panel. I look forward to seeing Samuel’s business grow and
become the next big international menswear brand.”
The judging committee was made up of leading industry experts including
Google’s Alison Lomax, Andrew Maag from Dunhill, Bosse Myhr from
Selfridges, and Kim Jones, artistic director of Dior Men, who said:
“Congratulations to Sam who I’m sure will become a huge global brand, a
British home-grown talent with a global view.”
Kevin Jiang, president of international business at JD Fashion and
Lifestyle added: “It is an incredible opportunity for an emerging designer
in the UK to take that next step and set the right foundations for an
international business. We look forward to working with Samuel over the
next 12 months through the mentoring programme in which we plan to share
our expertise on the Chinese market and assist him in expanding the brand
into its next stages.”
Previous BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund winners include Craig Green, E.
Tautz and Christopher Shannon.
Ross, who studied graphic design and illustration at De Montfort
University in Leicester, worked as a creative assistant with Off-White
founder Virgil Abloh, before founding A-Cold-Wall* in 2015 as a self-funded
label inspired by the British class system that reflects his personal story
of growing up in a working-class neighbourhood and studying design.
Shortly after its inception, A-Cold-Wall* became a rapid success with
revenues of 1.7 million US dollars between 2016 and 2017, and he landed
global stockists including Barneys New York, GR8 in Tokyo and Selfridges in
2018 was a big year for the British menswear designer, he won the
Emerging British Designer prize at the 2018 British Fashion Awards and was
a finalist for the ANDAM grand prize award and LVMH Prize, he also unveiled
the brand’s debut womenswear collection.
Images: Dylan Jones, Samuel Ross, Caroline Rush and Kevin Jiang at the
BFC/GQ Menswear Fund Award event courtesy of the British Fashion Council by
Samuel Ross with his award, a print by fashion artist David Downton
courtesy of the British Fashion Council by Darren Gerrish