Saul Nash Photo: Eamonn McCormack/BFC/Getty Images
Emerging menswear designer Saul Nash is unstoppable. The London-based designer received the 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. One week earlier, he won the International Woolmark Prize of £200,000 pounds ($144,000 USD) to grow his brand.
The prestigious award recognizes designers for talent and originality and who engage in sustainable or social responsible practices. The award was presented by The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, during a live ceremony in May. It highlighted all of the British Fashion Council (BFC) Foundation’s talent support initiatives, including mentorship, financial support, showcasing opportunities, and more.
In a statement, Chief Executive of BFC Caroline Rush said, “We are delighted to announce Saul Nash as the fifth recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. Nash has a unique way of combining function, tech, and tailoring in his design practice, resulting in a new take on luxe sportswear. His work explores the relationship between performance and menswear and is often showcased through beautiful and show-stopping choreography. We are incredibly proud to recognize Saul and look forward to seeing his brand grow.”
Saul Nash receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Award from Kate Middleton
The British-Guyanese started his label in 2018 and was a part of Lulu Kennedy’s talent incubator Fashion East for three seasons. The 29-year-old made his debut at London Fashion Week in 2019. The collection included multifunctional urban streetwear made from nylon and denim and was constructed for bodies in motion. Unlike his peers, Nash forwent the traditional catwalk for a performance art presentation that fused dance and fashion. It seemed only natural since the London’s Royal College of Art alum was a dancer since he was a teenager and also studied Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins.
Fast-forward to Fashion Week 2022, and Saul Nash did not disappoint. He drew inspiration from the folklore and spirituality of his Afro-Caribbean upbringing for his Fall-Winter 2022/23 collection showcase titled ‘RITUAL,’ which he presented in a short film directed by FX Goby. “The collection draws a lot of inspiration from my upbringing. Growing up in London in an Afro-Caribbean household, spirituality was part of the language of my life, and in a way, this collection reflects on some of these experiences,” Nash said in an interview with HYPEBEAST.
True to form, the designer and choreographer brings his characters together in his film to tell a personal story with movement and innovative designs. The film is set in a barbershop, a staple in the black community and a place of refuge and solidarity for Black men, young and old.
His Commitment to Designing Sustainably
The fashion industry and its supply chain are significant contributors to environmental harm, and Nash is keenly aware of that. He genuinely cares about the environment and is making the transition to sustainable fashion. It has become part of Saul Nash’s design philosophy and practice and is just one of the reasons he was handpicked for the Queen Elizabeth II Award.
The rising talent believes the fashion industry has a responsibility to the planet. So, Saul Nash is doing his part to make a change. Nash has been exploring and experimenting with sustainable materials and technology. He uses organic cotton, wool, and recycled textiles in his sportswear as part of a circular model.
Sustainability in fashion is no longer a niche concept, and there are many more options available to young designers like Saul Nash. The eco-friendly designer uses certified organic cotton instead of polyester. He is also increasing his use of deadstock materials and tries to produce his work locally and more dynamically to reduce his carbon footprint.
Check out Saul Nash’s latest collection on Instagram.