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A-Cold-Wall* wins BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund 2019

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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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 Men’s.

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 London.

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 Darren Gerrish

Samuel Ross with his award, a print by fashion artist David Downton courtesy of the British Fashion Council by Darren Gerrish

BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund
British Fashion Council
Samuel Ross