The GQ Fashion Awards 2021


Photography, Martin Brown; stylist props, Sharon Ryan for Halley Resources.

Sneakers of the Year: Adidas x Wales Bonner

In a swamp of overrated sneakers from overrated collaborators, England designer Grace Wales Bonner’s Adidas are the kicks of the thinking person. Over the course of two collections, Wales Bonner has marinated three-stripe sneakers like the Samba, Nizza and SL 72 in international flavors, taking inspiration from the British Jamaican community and his own father’s wardrobe, 80s Jamaican dancehall culture and European culture. Soccer. Wales Bonner transforms these influences into brightly colored retro styles and Sambas with homemade crochet details. The Adidas x Wales Bonner collaboration won’t make you a mainstay of StockX, but there are few better sneakers to remind you that the point of shoes is wearing them. –wolf cam

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Show of the year: Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022

The collection that would ultimately become Virgil Abloh’s last, before his devastating and sudden death at the age of 41, was also his most triumphant as creative director at Louis Vuitton. (It also served as the basis for the recent LV posthumous show presented in Miami). The collection began as many did in the days of COVID: as a movie, released in June of this year. Abloh titled the project Amen Pause, after the widely sampled drum beat that is the basis of hip-hop and jungle music, and a nod to his own talent for sampling and remixing fashion cues from different genres and eras. The film is a beautiful 15 minute sartorial epic starring legendary musicians Saul Williams, GZA and Goldie, as well as young French actor Issa Perica. ‘Amen’ break was a powerful metaphor, said Abloh GQ via email earlier this year: “The film reflects a historic moment in black art and culture when electronic music and hip-hop came out like twins from the same egg and spread to all regions of the world.” Seen now, as part of the late designer’s great legacy, it feels more like a metaphor for all the work he did to build bridges between cultures and generations throughout his career. “I was interested in exploring the idea of ​​transmission,” he continued, “the act of passing something from one person to another, activating waves of change across generations. “-Noah johnson

Courtesy of Diesel

Comeback of the Year: Diesel by Glenn Martens

Diesel’s low-rise bootcut jeans helped create the wave of high-end denim that swept through the early days. And many of us have invested a small fortune in it, to see the trend pass. But now that Y2K has reappeared as a buzzword, the Italian denim brand is back with Belgian designer Glenn Martens, creative director of Parisian concept brand Y / Project, at the helm. Martens started at Diesel in 2020 and has already reinvigorated the brand with their asymmetrical silhouettes and sweeping proportions, creating pieces that take a progressive approach to conventional denim for jeans – hungry masses. He also digs into the archives: a recent Diesel x Diesel collection included Zeitgeisty leather bombers and baggy jeans that Martens relaunched in the ’90s. But his goal, he said, is actually durability, in fact. supporting all aspects of the business: from raw cotton to washes to the production line. For a brand the size of Diesel, this is more than a talking point. This is the opportunity to make a difference. –Teo van den Broeke

A version of this story originally appeared in the December / January 2022 issue with the headline “The GQ Fashion Awards”.


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