London Fashion Week Men’s Spring/Summer 2018 has officially started! Over the next few days, the city of London will play host to the best British menswear labels who will be sending out their latest offerings onto the runway at any minute. But, while there are several notable names on the schedule this season, there are a few we’re particularly excited about; from Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell’s Cottweiler to the eponymous Daniel W. Fletcher, here are five British men’s designers you need to know before LFMW gets further underway.
Easily one of the coolest names to come out of London in the past few years, Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell’s concept-led menswear label Cottweiler focuses on luxurious simplicity – a highly creative fusion of function, fit and fabrication that borders avant-garde sportswear. Known for their tracksuits, sweatpants and a wide range of casual-wear, these guys really understand what it takes to elevate street-wear basics and cutting-edge Italian fabrics into understated, minimalist and stylistic genius. All that, and we can’t wait to see what they send out onto the runway this season.
Since winning the 2016 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, Grace Wales Bonner has been making waves in the international fashion industry with how she continues to explore black male representation, sexuality and identity. Throughout each of her collections, she effortlessly weaves opulent embroidery and jewellery with a hybrid of African crafts and techniques. It’s refreshing to see a designer challenge the way we think about men and the clothes we wear, and that’s only one of the many reasons we have become obsessed with this increasingly talented young designer.
Back in 2015, A-Cold-Wall* was started by a 25-year-old Samuel Ross as a curated response to the street culture of London; today, it stands for unconventional tailoring, streamlined designs, and an expression of youth in contemporary fashion. Yet, while all of that might sound more cerebral than relaxed street-wear, this label perfectly blends cutting-edge shapes with a relatable social commentary. This one-of-a-kind label is honest, upfront, and we can’t help but love his fusion of technique and artistry (and his handcrafted graphics).
The London-based label QASIMI is a relatively recent addition to this list of favourites. We first fell in love with how Khalid Al'Qasimi can bring together socio-political issues and a softened sense of protest during his fall-winter presentation earlier this year, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this weekend. Inspired by art, architecture and Middle Eastern design, Qasimi’s eye for fabrication, minimalist shapes and beautifully saturated tones are truly addictive, through and through. (Writer’s note: His white duvet coat from Fall/Winter 2017 was the best coat of the season – I still can’t stop thinking about it.)
Another designer with political messages coursing through his collections is Daniel W. Fletcher. His eponymous menswear label combines timeless contemporary shapes with quality fabrics and a powerful commentary of modern social issues and current affairs (he’s openly anti-Brexit), not to mention his love of colourful graphics and fun, wearable silhouettes. It’s not easy to make political statements look this good, but he does it so effortlessly. Don’t believe us? He’s just been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2017 LVMH Prize.