Meet Bianca Saunders the first Menswear designer in our 'Ladies Dressing the Boys' Feature. 211 Girls have had the pleasure of interviewing and shooting her collection which pushes the boundaries of street wear and incorporates blended elements of her Caribbean heritage. She is a London native, currently completing her MA at The Royal College of Arts and is one of the Ladies set to change the face of Menswear.
211 Girls: As a female what drew you to menswear?
Bianca Saunders: whenever I looked for detail, I would look at mens vintage clothing.
Then I would start designing by doing outwear first. Design felt more natural and expressive as I felt like womenswear was harder to show myself as an individual.
211: What song would best describe your next collection and why?
BS: Scales- by Solange Knowles FT. Kelela - I like how the song breaks down the black male character and highlights what society might see stereotypically threatening because of how they dress. But the song shows how special they are and how idolised they can be. The lyric reading "look on the TV.. they all want to be me"."for nothing what ever its worth is something" - this highlights and shows value in Black masculinity which some people don't see.
211: What is your earliest memory of wanting to be a designer?
BS: I would say from the age of 9 but before that I always was drawing and creating things very young. I think having the skill of being able to have a good drawing hand pushed me further into design. My mum always brought me scrap books especially over the summer. I used to look through "look magazine" and copy the dresses and try to re-design them. Funny fact I was a big fan of Destiny Child, I admired all of their custom made costumes, so I used to dream of making their costumes for them.
211: Where or what do you mainly draw inspiration from?
BS: I try to interact with my surroundings as much as I can, my friends and family inspire me the most. observing them and paying attention to their stories is what I try to draw inspiration from. Being from London also is one my biggest inspiration so much culture and history is yet to be explored through fashion and art . I also tend to go to alot of art exhibitions the help loosen up my mind.
211: What's your life motto?
BS: "Don't downgrade your dreams to match your reality, upgrade your belief to match your vision" - cant remember who said this. But I always try to think of what might be impossible some will be possible to me if I channel my mind in the right direction.
Photography: Amber Grace Dixon
Designer: Bianca Saunders
Styling and Words: Safiya Yekwai