We are one of the same

Inside Bianca Saunders’ new zine: an honest exploration of expression and identity
Fashion | 12 June 2020
Text Finn Blythe

As part of London Fashion Week’s first gender-neutral, digital iteration, London-based menswear designer Bianca Saunders is presenting a new zine, produced in collaboration with Harlem-born photographer Joshua Woods, stylist Matt Holmes and writer/model Jessica Cole.

Titled We Are One Of The Same, the publication celebrates that which binds us all with an exploration of identity and gender, themes that resonate strongly with Saunders’ practice of exploring her London upbringing and West Indian heritage.

We Are One Of The Same / photography by Joshua Woods

“We established a common-ground through our share realities of blackness, whilst drawing out the distinct difference in our lived experiences as black peoples’ in the UK and US,” says Cole, describing the process behind the zine and its meaning. “Liberating ourselves from the confines of corporate and client interference, the project is a fusion of freed and multi-disciplinary expressions.

This zine is an art-come-poetry-come-fashion piece. The imagery of the written word frames the visual language of photography, capturing the craft of tailoring contoured by the shapes of styling. Our solidarity ebbs and flows through our commonalities and differences. We are of the same fluidity, nothing is fixed forever, everything changes constantly. We are one of the same moment, yet it is only through our difference in perspective, that we can keep this moment moving forward.”

Since launching her eponymous brand in 2017, Saunders has focused on identity struggles with her collections. Her FW18 collection, for example, Personal Politics (produced for Pitti Uomo), challenged notions of black hyper-masculinity with sensuous clothes that hinted at partial undress. Last year she curated Nearness, a pop-up exhibition for Black History month based on the same themes of cultural familiarity that characterise her new zine. For FW20 meanwhile, Saunders’ most recent collection, the designer looked to dancehall culture as a portal to investigate masculinity, all in the name of pushing the boundaries of menswear.

Shot in New York, her new seventeen-page zine showcases all the elements that have led to Saunders being included in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list earlier this year, as well as receiving the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund, the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund, established to support promising creative fashion businesses. Released today, We Are One Of The Same is accompanied by a panel in collaboration with SHOWSTUDIO titled The Collaboration Worldview, co-hosted with Jess Cole and Joshua Woods. The talk, which goes live at 11.30am, June 13th, will highlight the importance of collaboration among creatives in the light of the industry’s rapidly changing landscape.

We Are One Of The Same / photography by Joshua Woods

We Are One Of The Same is available to buy from 12th June at biancasaunders.com.

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